Air India going under mega transformation by March 2024
Air India is undergoing a significant transformation, and according to their recent announcement, one-third of their wide-body fleet will be upgraded with modern, luxurious seats and advanced inflight entertainment systems by March 2024.This year, the airline, which is now owned by the Tata Group, made substantial orders for aircraft, including 70 wide-body planes from Airbus and Boeing, totalling 470 aircraft.Air India's CEO and MD, Campbell Wilson, shared in his weekly message to the staff that with the addition of six new A350s, along with five leased B772LRs and nine other B773ERs, their wide-body fleet will have grown by 30 per cent within a year, by the end of this financial year.By March 2024, around one-third of the entire wide-body fleet will boast modern seats and state-of-the-art inflight entertainment systems. The remaining aircraft will then undergo a comprehensive interior refit, amounting to a $400 million investment, to ensure a consistently high standard of service on every plane.In the past, there have been complaints about malfunctioning seats and inflight entertainment systems, mainly on long and ultra-long haul routes to the US and Europe, where the airline operates these wide-body planes.Excitingly, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) recently issued the Letter of Type Acceptance for Air India's Rolls Royce-powered A350s, a positive step forward for the airline.Currently, Air India possesses a fleet of 124 planes, of which 50 are wide-body aircraft. Among these, they have 15 B777-300s, 8 B777-200s, and 27 B787-800s, with the remainder being narrow-body planes.Additionally, Air India has concluded its agreement with CFM International to order LEAP engines for their new fleet of 400 narrow-body planes. These engines will be utilised to power 210 Airbus A320/A321 neo and 190 Boeing 737 MAX family aircraft, contributing to their modernisation efforts.