Review: Flying Air India’s New Airbus A350

Flight details

  • Class: Business
  • Route: Mumbai (BOM) to Chennai (MAA)
  • Plane: Airbus A350-900

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On 23rd January 2024, we flew Air India’s brand new Airbus A350 from Mumbai all the way to Chennai showcasing their brand new cabin design, meeting lots of other AvGeeks and celebrating a milestone moment for Indian Aviation.

A New Beginning: Air India’s First A350 Flight

It was a monumental day for Indian Aviation as the new Airbus A350 with the brand new livery going into service. I’m extremely proud and happy to have been part of this historic event and as I checked in for our flight from Mumbai to Chennai, it didn’t take long to bump into subscribers and AvGeeks who happen to be on the flight as well.

I stopped and spoke to a few of them before heading to the gate, and they were all really excited to be one of the first to fly on the new A350.

As the new A350 pulled into the gate, everyone was near the windows trying to get a first glimpse. I was with some super excited subscribers, and one of them said he was more excited to see me than the new A350, which I’m sure he was joking about (maybe).

You could see what it means to the people, there was a massive turnout of AvGeeks, and it’s just incredible to see that people get so excited about a brand new Airbus A350.

So, it was finally time to board the Airbus A350 of Air India, brand new livery, brand new cabin. I was very much looking forward to getting a first glimpse of the cabin.

Initial Impressions of the New Air India A350

I had a conversation with Harry, who is an Indian aviation YouTuber who does airline reviews mainly in Hindi. 

I asked him what his first impressions were and he said “It’s really good, and I mean, I’m very proud. I feel like it’s just the beginning and there’s still a long way to go. But the beginning is really promising. Whenever you search Air India, you’d only find things like broken seats and so many other bad things. But now it looks like it’s such a big transformation.”

And I agree with him. It brings pride back to the nation. And, you know what Indians are like. In his words “Indians are more emotionally driven.” 

If, for example, you say something bad about Lufthansa, I would probably jump on the same boat and say, yeah it’s terrible. But for Indians, even if they agree that Air India was terrible in the past, they would still have a sore heart because it hurts them because they know what a great airline it used to be.

And this is the cultural sensitivity that we have to have sometimes as well. That’s what I think is very important. It’s incredible that we were able to witness all this together.

Air India’s Airbus A350 Cabin and Seat Review

Welcome on board the Airbus A350, the brand new flagship of Air India. And the first impression, look at this business class seat. It looks stunning.

It was originally meant for Aeroflot, but due to the sanctions, they didn’t take delivery of it. So, some of them went to Turkish Airlines. A few of them ended up with Air India. And the seat is just outstanding.

I think this is the transition that India is going through, transitioning back to a world-class airline after all these years of struggle and identity crisis, funding issues, and being a government airline. 

Now, since it’s back with Tata, things are happening. The new branding looks stunning. And I think there’s more to come over the years. 

In the cabin, it was like a big celebration here of AvGeeks. Everyone came just to be part of this very, very special flight. And there was so much energy in the cabin. Everyone is so happy. Everyone is so excited. And I think that’s what we all love about aviation.

We then entered the runway for a somewhat historic take off.

Enhanced Privacy on the Air India Airbus A350 Business Class Seat

One feature I really liked about the new seat on Air India’s A350 is the enhanced privacy, and you can enhance it even more. You can close the door, and you have your own little Maharaja suite. And then you can open it again to reconnect with the world.

It’s amazing when you think about the old lie-flat, forward-facing seats in Business Class on the Dreamliner and compare it to this product, it’s a world of difference. Incredible product.

Air India Business Class seat on the previous Dreamliner product

Food Review: Have Air India Finally Improved Their Meals?

45 minutes into the flight, the crew started to serve breakfast. The presentation was lovely, and this is a big contribution from the Vistara ideas as both airlines are merging towards the end of the year.

Catering on Air India was always a nightmare but the improvement in the quality of the food is what Vistara has brought to the occasion.

My Final Thoughts on Air India’s New Airbus A350

We then landed in Chennai, my favourite airport in India. What a day it was, what an adventure it was, and that is the power of Aviation. It brings people together. 

It was a moment of celebration. It’s a stunning plane, and every time I fly on Air India, they seem to be getting better and better. They have really done an incredible job. 

I feel if anybody can pull off this merger of the two huge airlines Air India and Vistara, then it is Tata. They’re doing a tremendous job, and that is very nice to see. 

As for the overall flight review, it was a good start to the new era for Air India. The cabin looked stunning, the service was excellent, the food was decent, the seating was comfortable and I particularly loved the enhanced privacy on the new business class seat.

The new livery is also vibrant and appealing which to me, was a fitting marker towards a positive future for Indian Aviation.

It was also nice to see a lot of you guys. Thanks for saying hello. That’s what I love about Aviation. It builds beautiful bridges, it brings people together, and that’s when we forget about all the nonsense that is going on. 

I would love to hear what you think in the comment section below. 

Also, check out my Patreon if you want to be part of my exclusive community. If you’re interested in the gear I use on my travels having taken over 600+ flights, check out My Gear page.

This should be it, guys. Wherever you’re off to, have a safe trip.


About the Author

Josh Cahill is an award-winning Aviation YouTuber who is reportedly one of the most-watched flight reviewers on the internet. He organised Afghanistan’s first all-female flight together with Kam Air in February 2021 on a flight from Herat to Kabul for which he received the Aviation Achievement Award. His favourite hobby? Flying exotic airlines nobody has ever heard of.

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