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Air India’s 1st Airbus A350-900 Performs Maiden Flight

Air India Gets DGCA Approval to Introduce Two Airbus A350 Planes This Year

In a historic moment for Air India and the aviation industry, the long-awaited maiden flight of the 1st Airbus A350-900 aircraft has finally taken place. The groundbreaking event marks a significant step forward for the national carrier as it continues to modernize and enhance its fleet, offering passengers a new level of comfort, efficiency, and cutting-edge technology.

Air France takes delivery of its first A350 XWB(Opens in a new browser tab)

The Airbus A350-900 reportedly took off on its first flight, with plane spotters at Toulouse Blagnac Airport (TLS) taking images of the white-liveried aircraft.

At 10:14 AM local time (UTC +2), the aircraft, which is now registered as a test aircraft and goes by the code F-WZFZ, departed from TLS and was currently conducting testing. Just south of its point of departure, it reached its peak altitude of 43,000 feet (13,106.4 metres). According to the report, the aircraft’s Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) is 554, but it was not painted in Air India’s livery. In place of that, it was painted entirely white.

By the end of the year, six brand-new A350-900s are expected to be in operation for Air India; however, because the planes were originally intended for Aeroflot, they will have that airline’s interior. Customising this will take some time.

First BelugaXL successfully completes maiden flight(Opens in a new browser tab)

The configuration will be 28 business class seats, 24 premium economy seats, and the rest 264 economy class seats since the aircraft will have Aeroflot’s interior. Due to scheduling issues and Air India‘s desire to fly these aircraft as soon as possible in order to meet its aggressive growth goals, the Indian airline primarily kept the Russian interior.

The Airbus A350-900, known for its cutting-edge design and superior engineering, promises to transform the travel experience for Air India passengers. Travelers can expect an outstanding level of luxury and leisure with a wide and comfortable cabin layout that includes the latest in ergonomic seating and entertainment systems.

First A321LR takes to the skies for its maiden flight(Opens in a new browser tab)

The inaugural flight also marks a significant turning point in the long-standing alliance between Air India and Airbus. An airplane that not only satisfies the strict criteria of modern aviation but also embodies the shared vision of innovation and advancement has been produced as a consequence of the partnership between the two giants of the industry.

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Akasa Air Launches QuietFlights: Enhancing Peaceful Travel

Akasa Air Launches QuietFlights: Enhancing Peaceful Travel

Akasa Air, India’s rapidly growing commercial airline that, has introduced a novel initiative called “QuietFlights” for its passengers.

This unique concept is specifically designed for travelers flying during the early morning and late-night hours, enhancing their inflight experience with added tranquility and comfort.

In a recent press release, Akasa Air announced that flights operating between 10 PM and 6 AM will minimize in-flight announcements to essential safety messages only.

In addition, the airline will adjust cabin lighting to foster a peaceful and calming atmosphere. This initiative underscores Akasa Air’s commitment to offering a restful and comfortable journey for passengers on flights during these hours.

Belson Coutinho, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing & Experience Officer of Akasa Air, highlighted the airline’s dedication to ensuring privacy and peace of mind for its passengers.

He stated that the launch of QuietFlights reaffirms their mission to deliver exceptional experiences, emphasizing a “comfortable, relaxed, and peaceful cabin experience.”

Coutinho elaborated that in today’s fast-paced lifestyle, QuietFlights are thoughtfully designed to help passengers unwind, with reduced announcements and ambient lighting creating a serene inflight environment.

Akasa Air’s network connects 22 domestic destinations and three international destinations, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi, Guwahati, Agartala, Pune, Lucknow, Goa, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bagdogra, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Port Blair, Ayodhya, Gwalior, Srinagar, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Doha (Qatar), Jeddah, and Riyadh (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).

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Air India Passenger Discovers Metal Blade in his meal

Air India Passenger Discovers Metal Blade in his meal

In a concerning incident aboard Air India’s AI 175 flight from Bengaluru to San Francisco, a passenger discovered a metal blade in his in-flight meal.

Mathures Paul, a journalist, recounted his alarming experience on social media, sharing that he found the blade while enjoying his roasted sweet potato and fig chaat. Mr. Paul described the moment he felt the piece of metal in his mouth, realizing it was a blade only after chewing for a few seconds. Fortunately, he was not harmed. He posted an image of the bowl showing the metal blade next to the food, expressing his disappointment with Air India’s catering service.

Air India food can cut like a knife. Hiding in its roasted sweet potato and fig chaat was a metal piece that looked like a blade. I got a feel of it only after chewing the grub for a few seconds. Thankfully, no harm was done.

Upon discovering the blade, Mr. Paul immediately alerted the stewardess, who apologized briefly and assured him that the catering team would be informed. She then brought him a bowl of chickpea salad as a replacement.

After landing in San Francisco, Mr. Paul posted about the incident on X (formerly Twitter), but initially received no response from the airline. Later, Air India contacted him, offering a one-way business class ticket valid on any Air India flight for up to one year. Mr. Paul declined the offer, referring to it as a ‘bribe.’

In response to his post, Air India commented, “Dear Mr. Paul, we are sorry to know about this. This does not represent the level of service we aim to provide to our passengers. Please DM us your booking details along with your seat number. We’ll ensure this matter is promptly reviewed and addressed.

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Air India to Open India’s First Self-Operated Pilot Training School

Air India to Open India's First Self-Operated Pilot Training School

Air India is making a significant move to establish a flying school in Maharashtra’s Amravati, a project aimed at training up to 180 pilots annually.

Initially focused on meeting the airline’s internal requirements, the Tata Group-owned carrier envisions expanding to address external needs in the future, according to a report by The Economic Times.

The new academy will welcome aspiring pilots with no prior flying experience, offering a comprehensive full-time training program that prepares them for careers in Air India’s cockpits. To support this initiative, Air India has procured approximately 30 single-engine and four multi-engine aircraft from American manufacturer Piper and European company Diamond.

This strategic step allows Air India to control the supply of new pilots, ensuring a steady pipeline of well-trained talent. Moreover, it addresses the quality gaps in pilot training within India, which often compel students to seek education abroad.

The establishment of the Amravati flying school is part of Air India’s broader strategy to enhance the quality of pilot training in the country. Alongside this, the airline has inaugurated a training center in Gurugram, in collaboration with Airbus and US-based L3 Harris, equipped with six simulators for type-rating and recurrent training.

Other Indian airlines like IndiGo and SpiceJet have similar branded training programs in association with independent flight schools both domestically and internationally. However, Air India’s initiative to set up its own flying school marks a pioneering step in the country, emphasizing its commitment to maintaining high standards in pilot training and meeting the aviation industry’s growing demands.

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