Moving ahead on the transformation program, Air India on Thursday announced plans to refurbish its entire legacy widebody fleet, comprising 27 Boeing B787-8 and 13 B777 aircraft, committing over $400 million for the project.
This refurbishment will see a complete overhaul of existing cabin interiors, including the addition of latest generation seats and best in-class inflight entertainment across all classes. In addition, the refurbishment will see the introduction of a Premium Economy cabin on both fleets. The First Class cabin will also be retained on the 777s.
Air India has engaged leading London-based product design companies, JPA Design and Trendworks, to assist with the cabin interior design elements of this refurbishment programme.
The collaboration brings together two experts in the fields of aviation and interiors that have produced designs for major brands including Taj Hotels, The Orient Express and Herman Miller International.
With this significant investment, Air India is committed to providing its passengers with a comfortable, modern, and technologically advanced cabin to facilitate travel experience that is comparable with the best airlines in the world.
The complete interior refurbishment entails significant regulatory and engineering preparation, which commenced earlier this year. This lengthy but necessary process, and the time required to manufacture seats, is expected to lead to the first aircraft entering service in mid-2024.
Commenting on the widebody cabin refurbishment programme, Campbell Wilson, MD & CEO, Air India 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 Air India's transformational roadmap over five years with clear milestones.
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