Air India to Launch A350 on Delhi–London Route


In yet another milestone in Air India’s ongoing transformation, the airline plans to launch its new Airbus A350-900s on the first long-haul international route.

Beginning September 1, 2024, Air India will begin to fly its Airbus A350-900s between Delhi and London on 14 of 17 weekly flights, as per Aeroroutes.

The upcoming launch marks the first long-haul route its new product will be debuted on, and it’s taking to the skies complete with refreshed cabins and the airline’s new identity.

Air India’s First Long-Haul Route for the A350-900

Air India will launch the new Airbus A350-900s on its first long-haul international route later this year.

Until now, the airline has been flying its growing A350 fleet on a number of domestic routes, as well as on shorter-haul routes from Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM) to Dubai (DXB). 

As of September 1, 2024, that’s all set to change when Air India’s A350-900s will operate 14 of the 17 weekly flights between Delhi (DEL) and London Heathrow (LHR), replacing the Boeing 777-200LR/-300ERs aircraft currently in service.

The flight times on which you’ll find the new aircraft in September 2024 are as follows:

  • AI161, Delhi (DEL) to London Heathrow (LHR), departing 2:45am and arriving 7:30am
  • AI162, London Heathrow (LHR) to Delhi (DEL), departing 9:45am and arriving 10:50pm
  • AI111, Delhi (DEL) to London Heathrow (LHR), departing 6:45am and arriving 11:30am
  • AI112, London Heathrow (LHR) to Delhi (DEL), departing 1:15pm and arriving 2:05am the following day
  • AI165, Delhi (DEL) to London Heathrow (LHR), departing 2:15pm and arriving 7pm
  • AI166, London Heathrow (LHR) to Delhi (DEL), departing 8:45pm and arriving 9:40am the following day
  • AI165, Delhi (DEL) to London Heathrow (LHR), departing 3:15pm and arriving 8pm
  • AI166, London Heathrow (LHR) to Delhi (DEL), departing 9:45pm and arriving 10:35am the following day

It’s the first long-haul route for Air India’s new A350, and the latest move by the airline as it continues its transformation, which includes modern cabin upgrades, the launch of its refreshed in-flight amenities, and more.

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Air India’s new business class glassware will debut on the long-haul routes

For North American travellers looking to fly to or from India on the new planes, you’ll have to look at connecting through London for now, as the A350 hasn’t made the move to non-stop flights to North America just yet.

Passengers can choose from three classes of service – economy, premium economy, and business class – which all feature brand-new interiors.

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Air India A350-900 business class

There isn’t a First Class cabin available on the A350s that were originally destined for Aeroflot; however, Air India will feature a First Class cabin once it begins to take delivery of the A350s designed specifically for the airline.

The flights are bookable across Air India’s channels, and are also available for booking on points.

How to Book Air India Business Class on Points

The best way for North Americans to redeem points for a seat on Air India’s newest planes is with Air Canada’s Aeroplan.

Aeroplan points can easily be earned with one of the many co-branded credit cards, or by earning American Express Membership Rewards points and transferring them to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.

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If you’re looking to book Air India flights with Aeroplan points, you’ll need to consult the “Within Atlantic zone” section of the Aeroplan Flight Reward Chart.

According to Great Circle Mapper, a one-way flight between the two cities measures 4,191 miles. This corresponds to the fourth distance band on the chart for flights measuring between 4,001 and 6,000 miles.

Screen Shot 2024 06 27 at 8.16.23 AM

In economy, you can expect to pay 35,500 Aeroplan points, or 60,000 points in business class for a flight between Delhi and London. Indeed, these prices are what we find on the Aeroplan website.

Screen Shot 2024 06 27 at 10.11.02 AM

Once it takes delivery of the A350s that were designed for the airline, a one-way flight in First Class between London Heathrow (LHR) and Delhi (DEL) would price out at 90,000 points.

If you add a connection from North America to Delhi via London or vice-versa, you can expect to pay the following minimum prices for a redemption through Aeroplan, depending on where your origin is:

  • Economy: 55,000 or 70,000 points
  • Business class: 90,000 or 110,000 points

Screen Shot 2024 06 27 at 8.29.49 AM

Conclusion

Air India will launch its new Airbus A350-900s on long-haul international routes for the first time. As of September 1, 2024, Air India will fly the A350 to London on 14 of 17 weekly flights.

This move marks another milestone in Air India’s ongoing transformation, and it also will see the debut of the revamped in-flight amenities announced earlier this year.

Flights on the A350 to London are available for booking throughout the schedule, including using Aeroplan points.





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