Virgin Australia continues to plot its course out of administration and has now announced an agreement with Boeing on its 737 MAX order.
Under the modified agreement, Virgin will keep its order of 25 737 MAX 10 jets. However, it has decided that it will not begin taking delivery of the new jets until mid-2023. This is a further delay of two years over the original order.
However, they have decided to cancel their order of the smaller 737 MAX 8 jets. This was an order for 23 aircraft that were due for arrival in 2025.
So, to summarise the changes that have been made to the order
- 25 x Boeing 737 MAX 10 – First aircraft scheduled to arrive in mid-2023
- 25 x Boeing 737 MAX 10 – First aircraft scheduled to arrive in July 2021
- 23 x Boeing 737 MAX 8 – First aircraft scheduled to arrive in February 2025
Wide Body Fleet
That takes care of the narrow-body fleet, but what about the wide-body fleet. Virgin had previously operated a mix of A330 and 777 aircraft, although these have left the airline as part of the restructure. However, they still talk of their ambitions to restart long-haul international flying in the future.
For now, they say that they remain in discussion with manufacturers on a fleet strategy to support this.
It’s a positive sign that the new owners are looking at reinvesting in their fleet. If nothing else, it shows they have a commitment to the airline.
As for the 737 MAX 10 specifically, this will offer the airline an aircraft with more seats and a lower operational cost. With a capacity of 200 passengers, we will likely see the aircraft deployed onto some of the high capacity routes.