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BOM-DEL On Air India, Brand New A321 (pics)  
User currently offlineVivekman2006 From India, joined May 2006, 547 posts, RR: 3
Posted (8 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 27707 times:

Background: I had to head out to Delhi for a quick weekend visit. What better opportunity than this to try out Air India's (erstwhile Indian Airlines) evening service to DEL operated by their brand new Airbus A321s. I booked the ticket online and got a decent fare.

It was my first time on an A321 and the first opportunity to try IC's new product featuring PTVs!

Sector: BOM-DEL
Airline: Air India (Indian Airlines)
Flight: IC168
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Registration: VT-PPD
Scheduled Departure: 1800 Actual Departure: 1810
Scheduled Arrival: 1955 Actual Arrival: 2010
Seats: 30C

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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Vivek Manvi

I reached BOM Terminal 1A at around 1645, around an hour and fifteen minutes before departure. There weren't too many people at the IC check-in counters for DEL and I managed to check-in within five minutes.

As the evening peak hour was just about to start, there were flights leaving towards all parts of the country.

A view of the Business Class lounges for Air India and Kingfisher.

A view of the traffic at BOM:

Indian Airlines A320:

Kingfisher A320:

Our flight was supposed to leave from Gate no. 7, which is towards the extreme end of Terminal 1A.

Our aircraft arrived from Trivandrum, pretty much on time. I was surprised to see that the aircraft doing duty was IC's latest A321, VT-PPD.

Boarding commenced at 1740, and as I was hovering around the gate at that time, I was the first one to board the aircraft  Smile

The interiors looked sparkling white as the aircraft was only about a month old. The cabin featuring PTVs looked pretty neat.

The IFE system is quite good with LCD touch screens. The screens displayed a message stating "Entertainment System is now available".

As I touched the screen, this is the message I got  Smile

Anyway, we pushed back ten minutes late, at 1810. As we began our taxi towards the runway, I realized that the rush hour was already on, and we joined the long queue of taxiing aircraft. The captain announced that we were 8th in the queue and would take-off in fifteen minutes.

The international terminal had a variety of aircraft including the usual Air India A310s and a Jet Airways 777-300ER. There was also an Air India 777-200LR parked in front of the AI hangar. Surprisingly, Emirates had sent a 777-300ER today instead of the usual A330-200.

The take-off roll was smooth and lasted 39 seconds, before we lifted off into the sunset. The IFE was activated as soon as the seat-belt signs were switched off. The IFE was non-AVOD & DVD based.

Pics of the IFE guide:

The programming on offer was as follows:


Movies: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (English), Khosla Ka Ghosla (Hindi)
Comedy: Joey, Rules of Engagement (English), Naya Office Office, Sharaarat (Hindi)
Leisure: Walk the Talk, Lemurs of Madagascar, King of Clubs (Real Madrid), Take a Break (featuring Tamil Nadu)
Music: Sangeet Junction (Hindi), Music Zone (English)

In addition to this, there were around 12 channels of audio. All in all, it was a pretty extensive collection for a two hour flight.

I chose to watch "Khosla Ka Ghosla" a popular Bollywood comedy film starring Anupam Kher & Boman Irani.

The IFE also includes a moving map & flight information such as speed, altitude, outside temperature, distance and time to destination.

Food was served, and I chose the non-vegetarian meal consisting of a Lime juice, submarine sandwich, salad, Chicken Manchurian, Chicken cutlet and a pastry.

As always, IC has never gone wrong when it comes to food. The food was simply delicious. I passed the next half-hour or so enjoying the food and the movie. The flight was pretty smooth for the entire duration.

Soon, we were on the outskirts of Delhi and we started our descent.

We lined up for landing on runway 28 and made a smooth landing at 2010. After taxiing for nearly five minutes, we were parked at our designated parking bay. A short bus ride later, I was inside the newly renovated arrivals area. My bag arrived five minutes later and I made my way out of the terminal, more than happy with the overall experience.

Here are the ratings for the trip report:

Price: 4/5

Punctuality: 4/5

Aircraft condition: 5/5

Cabin crew: 5/5

Food: 5/5

Ground handling: 5/5

Overall (Average): 4.66

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineLY777 From France, joined Nov 2005, 2866 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 27695 times:

nice TR!
I have a question: the AI A321s are leased or owned?

אמא, אני מתגעגע לך
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4393 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 27667 times:

Nice report, and good for you to see that you got a brandnew A321, a first for you.
The message 'IFE not available' is indeed a bit dissapointing from my point of view. They better tell 'IFE will be servicable after takeoff' or something like that.

The meal looks pretty good to me, overall impression very well OK!


"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8717 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 27660 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report and photo's, think this is possible the first IC/AI A321 TR.....

What waws the loca like?

The food looks pretty ok, though portions are small............



User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 2041 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 27295 times:

Quoting Vivekman2006 (Thread starter):
As I touched the screen, this is the message I got

That's strange...lol...I flew on SQ, i could watch the movie after finish watching safety demo and then taxiing and then take off. Wow I watched that movie while the plane take off and I couldnt hear anywords from the movie cos the engines were too loud!

The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlineSammyk From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1697 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 26925 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting LY777 (Reply 1):
I have a question: the AI A321s are leased or owned?

Owned. They are part of the Indian Airlines order of 43 A32x aircraft.

User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2320 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 26883 times:

Great TR! thanks for posting!


Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1893 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 26825 times:

Great Tripreport!
Good to see that IC has there service at such a high level! Competition in India must be large which such a potentional customerbase!
Congrats aswell on your first 321 ride!

Thanks for sharing!

flown: F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,77W,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 7098 posts, RR: 76
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 26805 times:

Great report with very clear pictures, Vivek.

Fantastic to see large PTVs on the new A321s - are there plans to upgrade older aircraft, too? The meal service on that short flight is amazing.


Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 29272 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 26782 times:

Very nice to see AI with a new A/C. Really nice PTV's and food.


User currently offlineAleksandar From Serbia, joined Jul 2000, 3241 posts, RR: 31
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 26734 times:

Great TR!  bigthumbsup 

It seems that AI is back in the game and that they have inflight product as good as Jet Airways' and Kingfisher's. I'm really glad to see that they are not saving on food and it is nice to see that Bollywood movie had English subtitles. I would definitely choose similar movie on such flight.

User currently offlineVivekman2006 From India, joined May 2006, 547 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 26519 times:

Thank you all for your kind comments!  Smile

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 3):
The food looks pretty ok, though portions are small............

Yes. That's because it was an evening flight and the meal was a snack. Lunch/Dinner on IC is generous.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 8):
Fantastic to see large PTVs on the new A321s - are there plans to upgrade older aircraft, too?

As of now, IC has no plans to upgrade their older A320s. AI on the other hand is refurbishing its six owned 747-400s.

Quoting Aleksandar (Reply 10):
It seems that AI is back in the game and that they have inflight product as good as Jet Airways' and Kingfisher's.

Yep. From the reports that we have seen from the new AI BOM-JFK non-stop, the service surely seems to have improved. Hope they maintain it over the years to come.

User currently offlineKaran69 From India, joined Oct 2004, 2911 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 26413 times:

Great report mate and excellent pictures as always thanks for sharing


User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7187 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 26116 times:

Wow, very nice stuff for a domestic service, you won't find that in many places in the world

User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3363 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 26049 times:

Thanks for the TR - excellent stuff. However I wonder why IC went for the non-AVOD DVD style entertainment rather than going whole hog for a full-AVOD system?

How full was the flight? How was the crew on board?

Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
User currently offlineMk777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 25866 times:

Nice to see AI/IC keeping the new a/c impeccable.

Well written report, fun reading, the food looks delicious considering on US domestic routes, you get pretzels and drinks on a 1 to 2 hr flight.

Even the ptv has a good choice for such a short flight.

Thanks for sharing  Smile

come fly with me
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17477 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 25604 times:

nice TR.

The pics are really good.

Really nice that IC have PTVs on their a/c.

Thank you for sharing.


Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineAirIndiaOne From India, joined Mar 2005, 146 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 25397 times:

Nicely written TR, and great pics as well !

"You don't have to be crazy to be in aviation, but it helps", JRD Tata
User currently offlineVivekman2006 From India, joined May 2006, 547 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (8 years 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 25092 times:

Thank you Karan, ZKSUJ, Nimish, MK, B747forever and AirIndiaOne for your comments!  Smile

Quoting Nimish (Reply 14):
How full was the flight? How was the crew on board?

The load was around 80% as it was an incoming flight from Trivandrum. This particular A321 does the Delhi-Mumbai-Trivandrum-Mumbai-Delhi route.

The crew was pretty young unlike the typical IC crew. IC seems to have hired lots of new cabin crew - apparently to take care of the new aircraft on order.

User currently offlineLO231 From Belgium, joined Sep 2004, 2392 posts, RR: 21
Reply 19, posted (7 years 12 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 24804 times:

Great report, Vivek!

Thank you for taking the time and sharing it with us! For me it was nostalgia, I flew the route on AI's 310 in 2005...

Best regards,

Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
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