Air India recently took delivery of two brand new aircraft at the same time. On February 2, 2024 the airline received its second A350-900, registered VT-JRB, at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
On the very same day, the airline also took delivery of its brand new A320neo, registered as VT-RTV – this aircraft landed around two minutes after the A350 at Delhi International airport.
This day marked a significant milestone in the Indian aviation history as Air India became the first Indian airline to take “dual delivery” of a wide-body and narrow body aircraft on the same day.
Air India Airbus A350 Operations
Air India’s Airbus A350 is configured in three-class cabins consisting of overall 316 seats. This A350 aircraft is expected to play a vital role in the airline’s ambitious plans to enhance its customer experience and to become a global leading airline.
The first 6 A350’s to be delivered to Air India were originally designated to the Russian carrier Aeroflot, but with the current sanctions on the country, these aircraft were never delivered.
The launch flight of Air India’s A350 was full of aviation enthusiast and some famous “Avgeek Youtubers” flew across the globe just to be part of this maiden flight.
Currently Air India’s first A350 is serving domestic routes within India for crew familiarization. Soon the second aircraft will also join in serving domestic routes before being transitioning to the international sector.
The airline recently announced its ‘Namaste India’ sale, in which it is offering deeply discounted sales where domestic one-way airfare starts from Rs. 1799 and international airfares one way start from Rs. 3,899.
Air India is currently aiming at gaining market share both on domestic and international sector, with the help of its low-cost wing Air India Express, the airline aims to directly compete with IndiGo, which currently is the market leader in the country.
Recent ‘Show Cause’ Notice
Air India was fined Rs.1.10 crore last week by the Indian aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
This fine was imposed on the airline after the agency found series of safety violation, On 27 October, 2023 a former pilot of Air India had filed a complaint against the airline with DGCA and the civil aviation ministry of India.
Both the agencies then conducted a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
The statement issued by DGCA said: “Since the investigation prima facie revealed non-compliance by the airline, a Show Cause Notice was issued to the Accountable Manager of Air India Limited.”
“The response to the Show Cause Notice was duly examined with respect to the laid down stipulations under the relevant statutory provisions and the performance limits stipulated in critical documentations laid down by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).”
The airline replied to this finding and said: “We disagree with the order issued by the DGCA. The issues raised were thoroughly examined by us along with external experts concluding that there was no compromise on safety, whatsoever.”
“We are studying the order in detail and will review the options available to us including our right to appeal as well as taking it up with the regulator.”
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