On board Air India's first Airbus A350 flight

After decades of struggles, Air India is looking forward to positive new beginnings, including the highly anticipated introduction of its brand new Airbus A350 fleet. Siddharth Ganesh reports on the type’s inaugural service.

In October 2021, the TATA Group successfully acquired Air India along with its subsidiary Air India Express in a $2.4bn deal after the government decided to privatise the troubled airline. The move brought hope that the once proud national carrier would once again be able to call itself a distinguished airline.

Air India’s first Airbus A350, VT-JRA (c/n 554), was unveiled at the Wings India airshow
Air India’s first Airbus A350, VT-JRA (c/n 554), was unveiled at the Wings India airshow V1IMAGES.COM/ANEESH BAPAYE

Under new proactive management, changes began; small at first, with better crew hospitality and etiquette, delay reductions, refreshed inflight menus, and so on. But more needed to be done, especially to the airline’s ageing, worn-out fleet, which failed to deliver a positive flying experience to its customers.

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