When Air India Flight AI 589 departed from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport at 7.05 am to Mumbai on Monday, it was a historic moment. The flight, which departed on time, signifies the commencement of scheduled commercial services for the A350 in India. It carried a nearly full complement of passengers. The A350-900 is part of Air India's 470 new aircraft ordered less than a year ago.
The A350 has an in-flight entertainment (IFE) system and unique features like a three-class cabin configuration with 316 seats - 28 private business class suites with full-flat beds, 24 premium economy seats with extra legroom, and 264 economy seats. The I 589 departs Bengaluru at 7.05 am and arrives in Mumbai at 8.50 am, except on Tuesdays when it is not scheduled. It is registered as VT-JRA.
Domestic routes first
The aircraft will operate on domestic routes first to familiarise the crew and for regulatory compliance. Passengers travelling between Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, and Hyderabad, can experience the flight's cutting-edge technology. After that, it will be deployed on international routes. AI's Airbus A350 order breaks Boeing's monopoly of the carrier's widebody operations.