Virgin Australia ups Boeing 737 MAX-8 order
2024 is set to signify a major milestone for Virgin Australia's fleet.
What we'll be covering
It’s full speed ahead for Virgin Australia, which is adding six extra Boeing 737 MAX-8 jets to its 2024 delivery schedule. The airline is now in possession of three of those MAX-8s. The remaining 11 are now planned to be delivered before the end of 2024 – almost one a month.
Virgin’s remaining order of 25 larger MAX-10s will also begin deliveries in 2025 if all goes well. Altogether, that’s a total of 39 next-generation aircraft that will offer greater fuel efficiency, passenger comfort and growth.
Higher-capacity jets are on the horizon
In fact, Virgin says the stretched MAX-10s will transport more passengers with a similar amount of fuel as the current Boeing 737s, with 17% less emissions per seat per trip.
With some back-of-napkin maths, we can extrapolate that Virgin’s MAX-10s will likely seat around 212 passengers – 36 more than the current Boeing 737-800s. That’s potentially more sale fares and reward seats for customers.
Alistair Hartley, Virgin Australia’s Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, says that travel demand remains high and that growing the fleet will enable Virgin to deliver great value and choice in the market.
We are investing in our fleet to best meet our customers’ needs while positioning the business for success in the long-term. A more modern, sustainable, and streamlined fleet is central to our ongoing transformation.– Alistair Hartley, Virgin Australia CSTO, 24 November 2023
Existing Boeing 737 fleet to be refreshed
Alongside the new fleet of MAX jets, Virgin Australia is undergoing a $110 million interior refresh for its existing Boeing 737s. The first aircraft is undergoing refurbishment now. Virgin Australia expects the project to take up to two years to complete. On the refreshed aircraft, we can look forward to:
- New Business Class seats to mirror those on the MAX-8s.
- New or refreshed Economy seats to also mirror those on the MAX-8s.
- Installation of in-seat power in Business and Economy.
- Introduction of inflight Wi-Fi and media streaming for aircraft that don’t already have it.
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