Virgin Australia Group Reaches Agreement With Boeing on 737 MAX Order Restructuring
The restructured order book will now include 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10s which are scheduled for delivery starting mid-2023. The carrier will no longer receive 23 of the smaller Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft as originally planned.
On Wednesday (December 9, 2020), Virgin Australia announced that they have come to an agreement with Boeing on the restructuring of their 737 MAX order. The carrier’s restructured order book will now include 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft and will not include the smaller B737 MAX 8 model. The agreement represents a deep commitment to Virgin Australia by their new owner, Bain Capital, and positions the airline’s fleet for the future. The Virgin Australia Group is confident that the global return to service of the MAX currently underway will support the aircraft’s arrival from mid-2023. The aircraft will include a higher seating capacity as well as Boeing’s Sky Interior. In Wednesday’s announcement, Virgin Australia Group’s CEO and Managing Director, Jayne Hrdlicka, said,
“We have already moved to simplify our mainline fleet and committed to the Boeing 737 aircraft as the backbone of our future domestic and short-haul international operations. The restructured agreement and changes to the delivery schedule of the Boeing 737 MAX 10 gives us the flexibility to continually review our future fleet requirements, particularly as we wait for international travel demand to return. The MAX 10 will allow us to build on the operational flexibility we have been able to achieve with our existing fleet throughout administration to ensure we remain competitive on the other side of COVID-19.
“These enhancements will give us the ability to manage demand and deploy the B737 MAX 10 on high-density domestic and short-haul international routes or where there are constraints due to slot availability limitations. We will also continue to invest in capability that delivers a safe and efficient aircraft operation, and one that ensures safety remains our top priority. With support from Boeing, any new aircraft will undergo careful evaluation to ensure we are comfortable with it prior to entering service.”
Virgin Australia’s original order was for 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10s, scheduled for delivery from July 2021, and 23 MAX 8s, scheduled for delivery from February 2025. As previously mentioned, the carrier will not be taking delivery of the MAX 8s as originally planned. The Group remains in discussions with aircraft manufacturers on a widebody fleet strategy, to prepare for the return in demand for international long-haul services.
Source: Virgin Australia