Virgin Australia Group has announced four additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, in addition to another four MAX 8 aircraft announced in April 2022.
These additional aircraft will help Virgin Australia broaden its growth strategy and add extra competition to the Australian aviation industry, bringing its total Boeing 737 fleet to 92 (consisting of 737-700s, 737-800s, and Boeing MAX 8s) an increase of nearly 60 percent since relaunching in November 2020.
This will reduce emissions by 15 percent per flight compared with 737NG aircraft and play an important part in Virgin Australia’s Net Zero journey.
The delivery of the first additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 is expected in 2023.
Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jayne Hrdlicka believes that the latest announcement demonstrates the airline’s commitment to the Australian aviation market and to sustainably grow its fleet for long-term success.
“Despite the challenges faced by our industry, demand for travel remains strong and we’re responding with a focus on the long-term by increasing the efficiency and sustainability of our fleet with four additional Boeing MAX 8s joining our fleet from 2023.’
Virgin Australia also announced priority access to a Boeing 737NG full-flight simulator in Jandakot, near Perth, to help train more pilots. The access is part of a long-term partnership with global aviation training provider CAE.
Operations and people investment
The demand for 737NG simulator training is at extraordinary levels globally and securing this capacity at home is an enormous benefit to both Virgin Australia, and its pilots undergoing training.
Jayne Hrdlicka acknowledged that the key to Virgin Australia’s success in remaining Australia’s most loved airline is undoubtedly its people and increasing domestic 737 training capacity by 25 percent is a major win for the airline.
“Not only will we have increased pilot training capacity shortly, I am delighted that this week we have reached another major milestone with our team growing to over 7,000 team members, which is a real indication of the growth delivered in a very short time by Virgin Australia. Today is not only about investing in our operations, but our people too. We are passionate about creating the best employee experience in Australian aviation and attracting around 2,000 people to our airline in just under two years is testament to the priority we place on our team members.”
Virgin Australia continues to focus on investment in people, aircraft and infrastructure. The added activity in Perth will be great for many of the airline’s existing partners in Western Australia.
First in Western Australia
Western Australian pilots will have the opportunity to be trained at their home base, saving them travel time to and from the East Coast or further, while providing significant cost savings to the business and driving efficiency in its training program.
This is the first time the airline will have a simulator outside of Queensland or Victoria, and while the airline’s home will always be in the Sunshine State, it demonstrates the growth and importance of its business in Western Australia and of the state to Virgin Australia.
“The future of Virgin Australia is bright, and today’s announcements highlight our commitment to maintain strong competition for Australians who want to travel and experience great value. It also underscores our confidence in our underlying performance and commitment to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited is an Australian airline holding company based in Brisbane. Originally founded in 2000 as Virgin Blue, Virgin Australia now operates an extensive network of domestic services and international services from its main hub at Brisbane Airport.
Virgin Australia has progressively evolved from its beginnings as a low-cost carrier, through a phase as a hybrid airline to where it stands today as a full-service carrier. It is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
What do you think of Virgin Australia’s commitment to the Australian aviation market and its focus on long-term success? Drop a comment below!