- Air India reveals its first A350 in the new livery as the carrier aims to become a major player in the global aviation scene.
- The delivery of the plane is expected before the end of the year, with plans to deploy it on domestic routes for crew familiarization.
- The Indian carrier will welcome a total of 40 Airbus A350s.
Following its identity rebrand and fresh livery unveiled this summer, Air India has showcased the first A350 set to sport its new livery. The plane is expected to enter service before the end of the year.
Air India A350 in new livery
Air India has released photos of its first Airbus A350-900 in the paint shop in Toulouse, France. The widebody (registration: VT-JRH) will be the first to sport the carrier’s brand-new livery ahead of its delivery later this year.
Air India said on Twitter,
“Here’s the first look of the majestic A350 in our new livery at the paint shop in Toulouse. Our A350s start coming home this winter… @Airbus.”
Photo: Air India
In August, another of Air India’s A350s (test registration: F-WZFZ) was sighted on its maiden flight with an all-white paintjob. That same month, Air India showcased its new brand and livery at an event in New Delhi – the striking livery features the airline’s iconic red and white, along with touches of purple and gold in chakra-inspired patterns.
Since its takeover by Tata Group in 2022, Air India has taken huge steps to become a major player on the global aviation scene. This includes its 470 aircraft orders with Airbus and Boeing, plus options for another 370 planes.
Arriving this year
The new widebody will be delivered to Air India before the year is up. At the start of 2023, Air India was hoping to have all six A350-900s in service by the end of the year. However, it will have to wait a few more months, with March 2024 now the touted date.
Air India will become the first Indian airline to operate the plane, initially deploying it on domestic routes for crew familiarization. According to Times of India, it will eventually transition to Air India’s regional network before operating long-haul flights.
The A350 will become the first new aircraft type to join the Air India fleet in over a decade. Interestingly, the airline’s A350s were previously set to join Russian carrier Aeroflot before economic sanctions killed the deal – due to time constraints, they will arrive at Air India in the same configuration as intended for Aeroflot.
More widebodies needed
According to Vikram Rai, CEO of GE Aerospace South Asia, India could need another 150 widebodies to continue its growth trajectory. Presently, the country only has around 55 widebody aircraft, almost all of which are operated by flag carrier Air India.
Photo: IanC66 | Shutterstock
Air India’s mega order with Airbus for 250 aircraft includes six A350-900 and 34 A350-1000s, while its deal with Boeing will see it add 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777Xs. By the end of 2026, the carrier said it hopes to be flying a completely new long-haul fleet.
What are your thoughts on Air India’s new livery? Are you excited about the carrier’s incoming Airbus A350 fleet? Let us know in the comments.
Source: Times of India