Air India is already training its engineers and pilots to operate the Airbus A350 aircraft that will start arriving in November 2023.
The airline had placed an order for 470 A350 aircraft earlier this year. The rather massive order includes six A350-900 and 34 A350-1000 long-haul aircraft.
The regulatory approvals for the same are on the way.
In-house talent / crew are being interviewed as part of the preparation for building internal capabilities for operation and maintenance of the new additions to the fleet. The candidates are reportedly being chosen via internal assessments and tests, based on their merit and performance alone.
Having signed a deal with Airbus for wide-body and narrow-body aircraft, Air India is probably the first carrier in the country to operate an A350.
In February this year, Business Today had reported that Air India had put together a specially-constituted team of top executives, from Tata Group, including N Chandrasekaran, chairman, to oversee the work of transforming the airline. It was aptly called the Air India Transformation Team.
Nipun Aggarwal and Yogesh Agarwal, ex senior executives from Tata Sons were reportedly called in to negotiate with the aircraft manufacturers, that is, Boeing and Airbus. Aggarwal also headed this transformation team. He was instrumental in getting Air India to tie up with Amadeus, the Spanish IT company, to improve customer service on board the airline.
To make optimal use of the existing aircraft in its fleet, Air India has added several more routes / destinations in recent times.