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Virgin Australia - LogoIn a significant move to modernize and expand its fleet, Virgin Australia has announced a substantial increase in its order of Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft. The airline’s strategic decision to add six more Max-8s brings its total order to 14, with an overarching plan to integrate 39 of the latest generation aircraft into its operations. This ambitious expansion not only marks a pivotal moment in the airline’s growth trajectory but also underscores its commitment to environmental sustainability and enhanced customer experience.

The latest addition to Virgin Australia’s fleet, named ‘Bronte Beach,’ made its inaugural journey from the United States to Brisbane, marking a new chapter in the airline’s operational history. The arrival of this state-of-the-art aircraft is the first of many, with 11 more Max-8s set to be delivered throughout 2024. This effectively means the airline will be welcoming a new aircraft almost every month next year, a testament to its robust growth strategy and focus on modernization.

One of the key features of the new Max-8 aircraft is its environmental efficiency. These planes are designed to reduce emissions by at least 15% per flight compared to their older counterparts. This aligns seamlessly with Virgin Australia’s ambitious goal of slashing carbon emissions intensity by 22% by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Max-8s are not just environmentally friendly but are also equipped with next-generation interiors and are significantly quieter, being 40% less noisy than existing 737s.

In addition to the Max-8s, Virgin Australia’s existing order of 25 Max-10s, expected in late 2025, remains on track. The larger Max-10 aircraft offers the potential to transport more passengers with a similar fuel consumption to current 737 models, further enhancing the airline’s sustainability efforts with 17% less emissions per seat per trip.

Alistair Hartley, Virgin Australia’s Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, emphasized the strategic importance of this expansion. “Travel demand remains high, and we continue to grow and renew our fleet, enabling us to deliver great value and choice in the market,” he said. “Investing in our fleet to meet our customers’ needs while positioning the business for long-term success is crucial. A modern, sustainable, and streamlined fleet is central to our ongoing transformation.”

Furthering its commitment to customer experience and sustainability, Virgin Australia is also investing $110 million in an interior refresh and product upgrade across its existing 737s. This project includes the installation of in-seat power for all seats, new Business Class seats, refreshed Economy seats, and the introduction of in-flight Wi-Fi and complimentary entertainment. This comprehensive upgrade, starting in early December, is expected to be completed over the next 18-24 months, further enhancing the airline’s reputation for exceptional service and innovation.

Virgin Australia’s strategic fleet expansion and upgrade underline its commitment to sustainable aviation, customer satisfaction, and operational excellence. By integrating these technologically advanced and eco-friendly aircraft into its fleet, the airline is not only elevating the travel experience for its customers but also leading the charge in the industry’s journey towards a more sustainable future.




Written by: Octavia Koo