The Tata Group-owned Air India has decided to procure its maiden batch of wide-bodied Airbus A350 aircraft. According to sources, the first plane is likely to be delivered to the airline by March 2023. It is a wide-bodied plane like Airbus A350 has a bigger fuel tank that allows it to travel longer distances such as India-US routes.
The number of aircrafts purchased remains unclear. Air India has not bought a single aircraft since 2006. In 2006, it bought 111 aircrafts, including 68 from the US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing and 43 from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
Air India’s pilots are trained to operate the wide-bodied aircraft of Boeing. Therefore, they have to undergo “conversion training” to operate A350 aircraft of Airbus. According to sources, Air India has started asking its senior pilots if they will be interested in getting the “conversion training” to operate A350 aircraft.
According to Air India’s website, the airline has a total of forty-nine wide-bodied aircrafts. This consists of eighteen Boeing B777, four Boeing B747 and twenty-seven B78. The carrier has seventy-nine narrow-bodied planes in its fleet too.
The Tata Group took control of Air India on January 27 after successfully winning the bid for the airline on October 8, 2021.
Since April, the airline’s chairman N Chandrasekaran, who is also the chairman of the Tata Group has reorganised the top management of the airline, bringing in senior and middle-level executives who have worked in other Tata companies such as Tata Steel and Vistara.