Air India is undergoing a transformation at the moment, after being privatized. The airline is investing hugely in modernizing its fleet and improving the passenger experience. This is comprised of ordering 470 new aircraft, introducing new cabins, retrofitting existing aircraft, and completely rebranding, including unveiling new uniforms.
Air India has just revealed details about how the company is refreshing its premium international soft product. Specifically, the airline is showing off new amenity kits, bedding, tableware, and inflight entertainment. The plan is for this to roll out on medium and long haul international flights starting in mid-2024, which coincidences with when the carrier’s new Airbus A350-900s commence international operations.
Let’s take a look at some of the details. As you’ll see, the airline is leaning heavily into its Indian roots with all of these updates, and is also sticking to its new brand colors.
In this post:
Air India’s new Ferragamo amenity kits
Air India is partnering with Italian luxury fashion house Ferragamo on its new amenity kits for first class and business class passengers.
Each amenity kit will feature unique motifs celebrating different printing styles of India, and will include Ferragamo body lotion, hand cream, lip balm, socks, an eye mask, and a specially designed Air India keepsake. The first class kit will also include a fragrance. Air India is the world’s first airline to have amenity kits in Ferragamo’s new brand identity.
First and business class passengers will continue to receive sleepwear from Tumi, and premium economy passengers will continue to receive amenity kits from Tumi. This was all rolled out in 2023, and nothing is changing there.
Air India’s new bedding
Air India is introducing new bedding, though there’s no branding partnership here. Instead, the airline explains that it’s providing specially designed bedding that’s inspired by the company’s new global brand identity.
This includes duvets that are sustainable and lightweight, memory foam mattress toppers, and wool blankets. Air India states that it will be the only airline in the world to offer wool-blended blankets, and that the “jacquard border and the motif are inspired by the traditional Sozni embroidery ofJammu & Kashmir, a Union Territory of India.”
Air India’s new tableware
Air India is rolling out new chinaware, glassware, and cutlery.
The chinaware will blend lightweight and durable materials with subtle brand elements, like the Mandala patterns and India-inspired designs. There will also be tiffin box-shaped salt & pepper shakers with a gold finish. I have to imagine that like on Virgin Atlantic, many passengers will swipe these. 😉 First class passengers will also receive copper-gold thalis for Indian meals.
Cutlery will be stainless steel, and will feature weight-saving hollow handles. I also love the coffee and tea setup that Air India is introducing, especially with the evolved Maharaja branding.
Air India’s new Panasonic entertainment
Air India is investing in new inflight entertainment, as the airline will introduce Panasonic’s eX3 IFE system. The catch is that this won’t be rolled out on all long haul aircraft as of mid-2024. Instead, it will be available on A350-900s, 777-200LRs, and all newly delivered and reconfigured jets, as time goes on.
Air India is promising that its new entertainment system will offer a staggering 2,200 hours of entertainment across forms and genres, including 1,000 hours of movies, 600 hours of TV shows, and 600 hours of audio.
This collection will include over 250 Indian movies (the largest library of Indian content in the skies), 200 Hollywood movies, 900 episodes of TV shows, and more.
For those of us avgeeks who enjoy keeping an eye on the progress of the flight, Air India will debut Arc, an immersive inflight map experience from Panasonic. This will include a highly customizable map that lets you explore the world.
To enhance inflight entertainment, Air India will also introduce new headsets in all cabins. This includes noise canceling headphones in premium cabins, and reusable earphones in economy.
Air India has showcased its new international premium cabin soft product, including new amenity kits, bedding, tableware, and inflight entertainment. While Air India reinventing itself is of course a drawn out process, I have to admit that I’m incredibly impressed by the progress being made. These new amenities look fantastic — they look luxurious while still having a distinctly Indian touch. The new inflight entertainment sounds top notch as well.
When plans were first announced to reinvent Air India, I was skeptical. While there’s still a ton of work to be done, so far everything that I’ve seen has exceeded my expectations, and I’m impressed by the company’s direction. Keep it up, Air India, and I can’t wait to fly Air India’s A350 on a long haul flight once this is introduced.
What do you make of Air India’s new amenities?