Air India is in the midst of a wide-scale transformation, with aspirations to become a world-class airline once again.
Last year, Air India released new branding and livery, which was most recently featured at the unveiling of the airline’s first-ever Airbus A350-900.
Later this year, when its new aircraft are launched on medium- and long-haul flights, Air India will implement a suite of new in-flight amenities, including new entertainment options, amenity kits, crockery, bedding, and more, which better align with the airline’s premium aspirations.
Air India Set to Debut New In-Flight Amenities
Later this year, Air India will debut a suite of new in-flight amenities for passengers as part of its efforts to enhance the entire passenger experience.
At Wings India 2024, we got a first look at Air India’s new amenities, which will be rolled out in all classes of service.
Air India’s New In-Flight Entertainment
In all cabins, passengers will soon have over 2,220 hours of in-flight entertainment content available, spanning across multiple formats and genres.
Once launched, passengers can choose from 1,000 hours of movies, 600 hours of TV, and 600 hours of audio.
The system will feature a vast selection of Indian and Hollywood blockbusters and international films, as well as 900+ episodes of Indian, Western, and international TV shows, and more.
The new entertainment screen features full-HD 1080p monitors, with 21-inch touchscreens in the business class cabin, 13.3-inch HD touchscreens in premium economy, and 12-inch HD touchscreens in economy.
Passengers in business class and premium economy will enjoy noise-cancelling headphones, while passengers in economy will receive reusable headphones.
The new in-flight entertainment will be available on Air India’s growing fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, newly inducted Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, incoming new widebody aircraft, and on refurbished widebody aircraft.
Air India’s New Amenity Kits
Passengers travelling in all classes of service with Air India will be treated to amenity kits.
Air India business class and First Class passengers will be presented with new amenity kits designed by Ferragamo.
The actual amenity kit is encased in a presentation bag featuring various printing styles of India. A Maharaja charm hangs from one side of the pouch, with a drawstring on the other.
Inside, there’s a Ferragamo amenity kit, which includes Ferragamo body lotion, hand cream, lip balm, socks, and an eye mask.
First Class passengers will also receive an eau de parfum.
Meanwhile, passengers travelling in premium economy will continue to receive an amenity kit designed by TUMI, with skincare products by Verso, as well as an eye mask and socks, included inside.
Air India economy passengers on ultra-long-haul flights will also continue to receive an amenity kit made of reusable Kraft paper with an eye mask, socks, and hand lotion.
Air India’s TUMI Sleepwear
Passengers travelling in business class and First Class will receive a set of sleepwear by TUMI, as well as a set of slippers. The two-piece set is made from recycled materials blended with cotton, and is presented in a carrying pouch.
It’s worth noting that the TUMI sleepwear has been available on long-haul flights since 2023.
Air India’s New Bedding
Passengers travelling in Air India business class and First Class will be treated to a new set of specially made linen and bedding.
In business class, the memory-foam mattress topper is housed in a large pillow, and can be unfurled when it comes time to lay down.
Air India’s blankets for First Class and business class passengers are made from a wool blend. They’re decorated with a jacquard border, and have motifs inspired by Sozni embroidery.
Passengers travelling in economy and premium economy have twill-weave blankets available, which are designed to reflect Air India’s new brand elements.
Air India’s New Dining Experience
Passengers in all cabins will benefit from a revamped dining experience.
Air India’s revamped business class dining experience will feature a full set of new crockery, with accents of aubergine and the airline’s Maharaja mascot incorporated throughout.
Etched into the glassware are Mandala patterns, which are beautifully presented on the airline’s new Slovakian glassware.
Business class passengers will enjoy tiffin box-shaped salt-and-pepper shakers, while guests in First Class will receive copper-gold thali sets for Indian meals.
Passengers travelling in premium economy will have meals served on lightweight tableware, with Mandala patterns etched on side plates, bowls, and glasses.
Another Step in Air India’s Transformation
As part of Air India’s multi-year transformation plan, it’s gradually rolling out new in-flight amenities to passengers in all classes of service.
It’s great to see the airline putting so much effort into completely revamping in-flight amenities to align with its new branding and goals to be known as a world-class airline once again.
Personally, I’m not prone to spending a lot of time on in-flight entertainment; however, the new selection of films, shows, and features will be of great use on the airline’s many long-haul and ultra-long-haul flights.
It’s also nice to see so much Indian content included in the entertainment selection, as the airline showcases local talent and interests to passengers from all corners of the globe.
I found the move away from the current hard-shell TUMI amenity kits to the soft kit in a presentation pouch to be a unique move.
Including the Maharaja charm in the new kits is a nice way to subtly incorporate the airline’s mascot, and I think the patterns and design of the presentation pouch are distinctive from most other amenity kits out there.
The move from TUMI to Ferragamo amenity kits for business class and First Class passengers is also an upgrade, although I imagine some will miss the hard-shell kits.
I enjoyed adding a few pairs of TUMI sleepwear to my collection on my recent trip to India, and I found the material and design to be comfortable for use onboard and at home.
However, the biggest upgrade in Air India’s soft product thus far is the new crockery and bedding for business class passengers.
I find the tableware to be stunning, and certainly a significant upgrade from the current state of affairs, which doesn’t have a strong sense of brand identity or a particularly premium look and feel.
In particular, I appreciate the use of aubergine accents throughout as a call to Vistara’s influence and reputation as a premium airline. Once Vistara is merged with Air India, its aubergine and gold colours will live on in the crockery and livery.
Furthermore, I loved the Mandala etching on the cocktail glass, as well as the unique tiffin box for the salt and pepper shaker.
When it comes to bedding, I thought that including the mattress topper in the pillow and using wool-blend blankets to be innovative concepts unique to Air India.
I didn’t get a chance to lie down and test out the comfort; however, I hope to give it a shot once the products are launched on long-haul flights later this year.
As with the crockery, the new bedding is sure to be an upgrade from the current state of affairs, both in terms of look and feel.
As Air India rolls out its new soft product, it’ll be unique amongst its competitors, with distinct branding and design that reflects its new identity.
These new products will certainly be a boon for anyone travelling with the airline on long-haul routes, and they’ll surely result in a more upscale experience.
It’ll be interesting to learn more about Air India’s plans for upgrading the food and beverage available onboard, as well as the service culture, to better align with the premium product it aims to offer. We expect to learn more about this in the months to come.
For passengers to choose Air India over other premium competitors, such as Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, the overall experience will have to fire on all fronts: a cutting-edge hard product, unique soft products, bespoke service, and a premium experience from start to finish.
In the years ahead, Air India will need to continue work to change the narrative surrounding its reputation, and revamping its onboard amenities is just one of the steps involved in the process.
However, with a massive order for 400+ new aircraft with brand-new cabins, the ambitious plan to refurbish its existing fleet of widebody aircraft by the end of 2025, renovating and building lounges, and implementing high standards for everyone, Air India appears to be set on making progress towards its lofty goals as quickly as possible.
Later this year, Air India will debut new in-flight amenities for passengers in all classes of service.
Once available, all passengers will enjoy an enhanced in-flight entertainment system, with more than 2,200 hours of entertainment encompassing many genres.
Premium amenities, including bedding, amenity kits, and crockery, are also getting an upgrade, and better align with the airline’s goals to reestablish itself as a world-class airline.
We can expect to see the new in-flight amenities launched as its new aircraft are deployed on long-haul routes by mid-2024.