Air India to Spend $400 Million Upgrading Wide-Body Aircraft Cabins

Air India has committed more than $400 million to refurbish its legacy wide-body aircraft fleet, consisting of 27 Boeing B787-8 and 13 B777 aircraft. The renovation, announced on December 8, will introduce a Premium Economy cabin to the Boeing B787-8 and  B777 aircraft. The 777s will still have a First Class cabin, and they will also be used at the Five Star Lodge.

Air India to Spend $400 Million Upgrading Wide-Body Aircraft Cabins
Air India provides connections to over 70 international destinations. It is also India’s national flag carrier. | © Money Sharma/AFP/Getty

Wide-body Aircraft Cabin Design Initiative

The Indian airline has chosen JPA Design and Trendworks, two renowned firms with offices in London, to help with this renovation initiative’s cabin interior design components. Two experts in aviation and interior design who have designed for well-known companies like Taj Hotels, The Orient Express, and Herman Miller International have teamed together in this cooperation.

With more than 30 years of expertise designing the environments, buildings, and vehicles of the future in collaboration with the most exciting brands in the world, JPA Design is an international firm active in the transportation, interiors, and product design industries.

Trendworks’ methodology is based on fundamental research, genuine discovery, and honed instinct gained over many years of commercial experience with some of the world’s leading brands and consultancies. Trendworks has over 20 years of experience in colour, material, and finish (CMF), trend research, and design.

Taj Hotels
A room in Taj Hotel Maldives | © JPA Design

As part of this refurbishment, the interiors of the current cabins will be entirely redone, including the addition of modern seats and top-tier in-flight entertainment for all classes.

The entire interior renovation requires extensive engineering and regulatory preparation, which began earlier this year. It is anticipated that the first aircraft will enter service in the middle of 2024 due to this lengthy but necessary procedure and the time required to manufacture seats.

Air India’s Expectations

Air India, the largest airline in India and a member of Star Alliance, was the first airline in India founded by the illustrious JRD Tata. The carrier has a vast domestic network and has expanded to become a major international airline with a network spanning the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Far-East, South-East Asia, Australia, and the Gulf since its first flight on October 15, 1932.

The airline intends to provide its passengers with a modern, comfortable, and technologically advanced cabin with this significant investment to facilitate a travel experience comparable to that of the world’s best airlines.

Mr Campbell Wilson, MD & CEO of Air India,
Mr Campbell Wilson, MD & CEO of Air India | © Air India

Mr Campbell Wilson, MD & CEO of Air India, regarding the wide-body cabin refurbishment program, said,

“Under our Vihaan.AI transformation program, Air India has committed to attain the highest standards of product and service befitting of a world class airline. We know that, at present, the cabin product on our 40 legacy widebody aircraft falls short of this standard. Although the project commenced some months ago, we are delighted to now publicly announce this significant investment on a complete interior refit, and we are confident that, when revealed, the new interiors will delight customers and show Air India in a new light. We are working closely with partners to accelerate the refit process as fast as possible and, in the meantime, leasing in at least 11 new widebody aircraft with brand new interiors to improve our offering at the earliest opportunity.”

Vihaan. AI is a five-year transformative plan for the carrier with specified goals. It will put a lot of effort into building a newly revised client proposition, dramatically expanding its fleet and network, and improving dependability and punctuality. The airline will also take a leadership role in technology, sustainability, and innovation while aggressively investing in the most significant person in the sector. Vihaan. AI wants to help Air India achieve long-term growth, financial success, and market dominance.

Do you think Air India’s $400 million investment fleet makeover plan is a good idea? Kindly leave a comment below. 

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Samuel Ayobami Ojerinola
Samuel Ayobami Ojerinola
Aviation Reporter - With a deep background in travel including previous work for LoveHolidays, Omega and HRG, Samuel contributes news and analysis here at Travel Radar. Samuel also holds a BA degree in Travel & Tourism Management from the University of West London.

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