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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Virgin Australia orders Australia's first 737 MAX 8 aircraft

Source: Travel Daily




Virgin Australia has just announced an agreement with Boeing for the delivery of 23 737 MAX 8 aircraft - the first in Australia.

The new planes will join the Virgin Australia fleet between 2019 and 2021, with the agreement including a further four delivery options "ensuring flexibility to respond to market conditions".

At the same time, Virgin Australia has delayed the dellivery of some of its Boeing 737NG aircraft until after 2016, leaving 31 scheduled deliveries of 737-800s between 2013 and 2016.

"This gives the airline flexibility to develop the appropriate mix of narrow-body and wide-body aircraft," the carrier said in a statement to the ASX.

CEO John Borghetti also said that by the end of next year all of Virgin Australia's Boeing 737-700s will have exited the fleet.

"Virgin Australia is committed to maintaining a young and flexible fleet of modern aircraft," he said, with the average fleet age dropping from 4.9 to 4. years in the last 12 months alone.

He said that the Boeing 737 MAX should reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by 13% compared to today's most fuel efficient single-aisle aircraft, with the new planes to incorporate the latest quiet engine technology, significantly reducing their noise footprint.

"Virgin Australia will continue to review its fleet strategy to ensure we align fit-for-purpose aircraft to markets and maintain maximum flexibility in capacity management," Borghetti said.

More information in today's Travel Daily.

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