Air India's First Airbus A321neo Is Unveiled

Air India got its first Airbus A321neo, the first of several of the type that would be added to the airline's fleet in the coming years. The aircraft, registered as VT-RTD, flew from Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport (XFW) to Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) on March 25, 2023. It flew between the two airports on a non-stop flight, operated as flight AI1111, landing after 7 hours and 55 minutes in the air at DEL at 1:27 AM local time (UTC +5:30), according to records.

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Ch-aviation data showed that the single-aisle aircraft made its first flight on the 27th of February,2023. VT-RTD is the first of three A321neos that will be delivered to the airline soon. The other two A321neos, registered as VT-RTB and VT-RTC will follow shortly. On March 18, 2023, VT-RTC made its first test flight under registration D-AZWG according to flightradar24 data. Evidence from suggests that all three A321neos had originally been destined for Russian airlines. While VT-RTB and VT-RTC were previously scheduled to be delivered to Ural Airlines, VT-RTD was not taken up (NTU) by Smartavia.


On February 14, 2023, Air India placed a 250-aircraft order with Airbus, including 40 A350s and 210 of the A320 family. The same day, it placed an order with Boeing for 290 aircraft, consisting of 190 737 MAX, 20 787-9, and 10 777X-9s. While Boeing is yet to deliver a single aircraft from the order to the Indian airline, the A321neo is the first aircraft to be delivered from the Airbus order.

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Air India earlier welcomed a trio of second-hand Boeing 777-200LR aircraft into its service. The wide-body jets registered as VT-AEG, VT-AEF, and VT-AEH, arrived at DEL in January 2023, November 2022, and March 2023, respectively. All three were previously operated by the United States (US)-based Delta Air Lines.

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