Air India received its first Airbus A321neo, the first aircraft from a number of the type set to join the airline’s fleet in the next few years.
The aircraft, registered as VT-RTD, flew from Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (XFW) to Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) on March 25, 2023. It flew between the two airports on a non-stop flight, operated as flight AI1111, landing after 7 hours and 55 minutes in the air at DEL at 1:27 AM local time (UTC +5:30), according to flightradar24.com records.
According to ch-aviation.com data, the narrow-body jet made its first flight on February 27, 2023, and is one of three A321neos that will reach the airline soon. The remaining two, registered VT-RTB and VT-RTC, will also be joining the Indian carrier’s fleet shortly. VT-RTC had its first flight on March 18, 2023, using the test registration D-AZWG, per flightradar24.com and planespotters.net data.
Information from planespotters.net shows that all three A321neos had originally been destined for Russian airlines. VT-RTD was not taken up (NTU) by Smartavia, while VT-RTB and VT-RTC had previously been scheduled to be delivered to Ural Airlines.
Air India ordered 250 Airbus aircraft, 210 A320 family and 40 A350 aircraft, on February 14, 2023. The same day, it ordered 290 aircraft from Boeing, split into 190 737 MAX, 20 787-9, and 10 777X-9s. While Boeing is yet to deliver a single aircraft from the order to the Indian airline, the A321neo is the first aircraft to be delivered from the Airbus order.
Air India previously introduced a trio of second-hand Boeing 777-200LR aircraft into its fleet. The wide-body jets, registered as VT-AEG, VT-AEF, and VT-AEH, arrived at DEL in January 2023, November 2022, and March 2023, respectively. All three were previously operated by the United States (US)-based Delta Air Lines.