Particulars: Air India Refreshing Boeing 777 & 787 Cabins

In late 2021, Air India was privatized, as Tata Group, which was Air India’s preliminary proprietor when the corporate was first based, took management of the airline once more. Since then, executives on the firm have been working arduous to rework the airline. Suffice it to say that that is no small process, given the state of Air India’s fleet.

Luckily loads might be altering within the close to future. In late 2022, Air India revealed that it will refresh the interiors of its Boeing 777 and 787 plane. On prime of that, in early 2023, Air India positioned a landmark order for 470 Airbus and Boeing jets, price tens of billions of {dollars}.

This week the airline has revealed its new model id, and as a part of that, we now have extra particulars of what the refresh will seem like for present plane. On this put up I needed to debate the final plans for reconfiguring present vast physique jets, after which in a separate put up I’ll check out Air India’s new first and enterprise class merchandise.

Air India investing $400 million in vast physique jet interiors

Tata Group intends to take a position $400 million in refreshing the interiors of Air India’s present lengthy haul fleet. Right here’s what we all know up to now about these plans:

  • Air India might be refreshing the interiors of its whole legacy vast physique fleet, together with all Boeing 787s and Boeing 777s
  • Air India won’t solely be refreshing all cabins (together with all new seats, inflight leisure, and Wi-Fi), however will even introduce a premium economic system product throughout its lengthy haul fleet
  • Air India might be retaining the primary class cabin on its Boeing 777s
  • The planes won’t solely get new seats, however you may anticipate the configuration to alter as effectively
  • The corporate has employed London-based JPA Design and Trendworks to help with this challenge
  • The primary plane with the brand new cabins is predicted to enter service in mid-2024, after the merger with Vistara is finalized
  • It’s anticipated to take round 2.5 years for all the legacy fleet to characteristic new interiors, so you may anticipate that challenge to be full by late 2026 or early 2027 (assuming there are not any extra delays)
Air India will retain top notch on 777s

Understand that along with its present lengthy haul fleet, Air India has began leasing some jets from different airways, totally on a reasonably quick time period foundation (which means that these planes seemingly received’t be in Air India’s fleet in a decade). That is each supposed to enhance the passenger expertise, and so as to add capability.

For instance, Air India is leasing six former Delta Air Traces Boeing 777-200LRs, three former Singapore Airways Boeing 777-300ERs, and 6 former Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ERs.

These planes are all considerably extra premium than Air India’s present lengthy haul plane, and have direct aisle entry and totally flat seats in enterprise class. Moreover, the Delta and Singapore jets characteristic premium economic system, whereas the Etihad and Singapore jets characteristic top notch.

Due to all of the plane that Air India is choosing up from different airways, Air India states that by March 2024, 33% of lengthy haul plane will characteristic some kind of upgraded interiors.

Top notch on former Etihad Airways Boeing 777s

My tackle Air India’s cabin upgrades

I’m actually impressed by the transformation that Air India has introduced. Air India is after all lengthy overdue for cabin upgrades. Not solely does the airline have a woefully outdated enterprise class on Boeing 777s (in a 2-3-2 configuration with angled seats), however the cabins on many Air India planes are mainly falling aside.

Whereas I’ll focus on the main points of the brand new cabins in a separate put up, the whole lot we’re seeing up to now is kind of greatest case state of affairs, for my part. A number of ideas in regards to the basic cabin combination we’re seeing:

  • It’s attention-grabbing that Air India will preserve top notch; some airways have eradicated this whereas introducing a greater enterprise class product, however plainly Air India is dedicated to sustaining this
  • It’s implausible that Air India will lastly introduce totally flat enterprise class seats with direct aisle entry and doorways; this might be a quantum leap in comparison with the present product
  • I’m completely happy to see Air India additionally introducing premium economic system all through the lengthy haul fleet, as India actually looks like a market the place there’s worth in that, given how lengthy so many flights to the nation are
  • The one draw back to the brand new cabins is that Air India goes from a 3-3-3 format in economic system to a 3-4-3 format; this was sure to occur, and matches the trade normal
  • As soon as Air India does introduce this new product on planes, I hope the corporate invests in sustaining the seats, since that has traditionally been a significant problem for the airline
Air India’s Boeing 787 enterprise class

Backside line

Air India has dedicated to spending $400 million updating the cabins on its Boeing 787s and 777s. The airline will preserve top notch on 777s, introduce a brand new enterprise class on all lengthy haul planes, add premium economic system to all lengthy haul planes, and in addition replace the economic system product.

That is all nice information, although it’s going to be a while earlier than Air India’s whole lengthy haul fleet is upgraded. The reconfiguration work will begin in mid-2024, and is predicted to take round 2.5 years, which means that greatest case state of affairs it will likely be full in late 2026 or early 2027.

What do you make of Air India’s plans to replace its cabins?

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