First Airbus A350 not only for Air India, but for whole country will be here in India tomorrow. Air India will be operating a widebody Airbus jet after a long time. Last time, it operated a pair of Airbus A330s which it leased because of delays in Boeing 787 delivery. Anyways, we were talking about first Airbus A350 delivery. In this article, you will read about what you can expect after delivery?
First Airbus A350 delivery
Air India is all set to receive delivery of first Airbus A350 aircraft. 2 hours after publishing this article, the aircraft will depart from Toulouse Blagnac Airport for delivery flight. Air India will receive this aircraft at Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI).
First Airbus A350 is registered as VT-JRA. It is a former Aeroflot allotted airframe. Assigned with Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) 554, the aircraft conducted first test flight on 4th August 2023. It is 0.4 years old right now. Its partial payment has been completed with collaboration between Air India leasing unit in GIFT City and Japanese lender SMBC.
Air India has decided to retain the Aeroflot interiors. The interior will have 28 Business class, 24 Premium Economy class and 264 Economy class seats. There will be a bar area as well.
What to expect post delivery?
Air India has already received approvals from Directorate General of Civil Aviation for engineering line maintenance on the Airbus A350 fleet. After delivery, the aircraft will be on ground for 3-4 weeks. It takes this much amount of time to complete checks and gain approvals from regulator.
After gaining all approvals, the aircraft will operate its first ever commercial flight on metro to metro domestic routes. By the end of January, this first Airbus A350 will be flying commercial services.
Around 50 engineers have already been trained on the Airbus A350 fleet. More engineers are in Singapore to do hands-on training on Airbus A350 with SIA Engineering Company. This will help them understand day to day MRO operations and turnaround activities in a better way.
As the number of Airbus A350 increase, the number of technicians and maintenance engineers will also increase. 3 batches from Vistara, AIX Connect and Air India are currently in Toulouse undergoing training at Airbus centre.
More aircraft inductions
Air India Group earlier announced that in 2024, they will be taking delivery of 1 aircraft in every 6 days. As promised, the group has sticked to its commitment. For example, in this month, Air India Express has received 3 B737 MAX. 4th one is on its way to India for delivery.
Talking about the Airbus A350 fleet, remaining 5 former Aeroflot frames will be here in India by March-April month. They will be operational by May.
As soon as first A350 touches down in India, the airline will start the process of getting approvals for creating operational manuals for flight operations, engineering, ground handling and spare parts. This extensive documentation process a long time, around 3-4 weeks.
Full support from Airbus
As this is the debut of Airbus A350 family in India, Airbus is fully supporting the airline. From preparing engineers and pilots to provisioning of spare parts and enhanced technology, the European planemaker is doing everything. Airbus is working closely with Air India for entry into service of India’s first Airbus A350. Many parts of Airbus A350 are actually made in India. Many spare components and tech products come from Airbus India Engineering Centre in Bengaluru.
Initially, Air India placed an order of 6 Airbus A350-900 and 34 Airbus A350-1000. Now, it has sided with Airbus A350-900 and reduced the Airbus A350-1000 order to 20. Means the orderbook includes 20 Airbus A359 and 20 A35X. Apart from this, the airline has 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 10 Boeing 777-9X on order as well.
Air India will initially use this aircraft for domestic flights. Eventually, it will be fly on long haul or ultra long haul flights to Europe and North American region.
Featured Image courtesy : David Lanoix
Source : Livemint