According to sources Zee News , Tata Group-owned Air India has decided to purchase its first batch of Airbus wide-body A350 aircraft, with the first plane arriving in March 2023. However, it was unclear how many A350 jets Air India would purchase. Air India has not purchased a single aircraft since 2006, when it placed orders for 111 aircraft, 68 from Boeing in the United States and 43 from Airbus in Europe.
A wide-body airliner, such as the Airbus A350, has a larger fuel tank, allowing it to fly longer distances, such as from India to the United States. The Tata Group acquired Air India on January 27 after successfully bidding for the airline on October 8, last year.
According to sources, Air India has begun asking its senior pilots if they want to receive “conversion training” to fly A350 aircraft. Pilots from Air India are trained to fly Boeing wide-body aircraft. As a result, they must undergo “conversion training” in order to operate an Airbus A350.
Air India has 49 wide-body aircraft in its fleet, according to the airline’s website: 18 Boeing B777, 4 Boeing B747, and 27 Boeing B787.
According to sources, Air India is buying A350 planes and would get its first one in March 2023. N Chandrasekaran, the airline’s chairman and the chairman of the Tata Group, has overhauled the airline’s top management since April, bringing in senior and middle-level executives from other Tata Group firms such as Tata Steel and Vistara.
Air India and Airbus did not react to PTI’s enquiries about aircraft purchase.