Air India will spend $400 million on refurbishing interiors on widebody planes

‘First renovated plane to enter service in mid-2024’

December 08, 2022 08:47 pm | Updated 08:47 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Air India on Thursday announced its plans to refurbish the interiors of its entire wide-body fleet at a cost of more than $400 million.

The overhauling exercise will include adding the latest generation seats and best-in-class inflight entertainment across all cabin classes on its 27 Boeing 787-8 and 13 Boeing 777 aircraft.

In an important shift, Air India also said that it would introduce Premium Economy cabin on both Boeing 787s and 777. Vistara, which is now being merged with Air India, already offers Premium Economy and so do top global airlines such as Singapore Airlines, which also owns 25.1% in Air India. This allows passengers to enjoy more comfortable seats at a price band lower than that of business class.

The move will, however, not entail discontinuing the First Class cabin on the 777s.

Air India’s 777s until now had a three-class configuration, i.e. First Class, Business and Economy, while 787s have Business and Economy.

Air India said that it had engaged London-based product design companies, JPA Design and Trendworks, which have have produced designs for major brands including Taj Hotels, The Orient Express and Herman Miller International.

The airline said it expected the first refurbished aircraft to enter service in mid-2024 due to regulatory and engineering preparation as well as time required to manufacture seats.

“We know that, at present, the cabin product on our 40 legacy widebody aircraft falls short of this standard,” said Campbell Wilson, MD & CEO of Air India. “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,” he added.

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