24 November 2023 | Operations

Virgin Australia increases 737 MAX-8 aircraft order

  • Six additional fuel-efficient MAX-8 aircraft to enter the Virgin Australia fleet, bringing MAX-8 order to 14 and total planned latest generation aircraft to 39.
  • Third MAX-8 arrives in Brisbane from the US today, remaining 11 MAX-8s expected next year with one new aircraft delivered almost every month in 2024. 
  • New MAX-8s to enter domestic and short-haul international routes including Fiji, Bali and Samoa.

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24 November 2023: Virgin Australia has increased its pipeline of new Boeing MAX family aircraft, with six more MAX-8s scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2024, bringing the airline’s total number of MAX-8s to 14 and total planned latest generation aircraft to 39.

The newest addition to the fleet, ‘Bronte Beach’ will arrive in the airline’s home city of Brisbane this afternoon from the US. 

The 11 remaining MAX-8 aircraft are expected to arrive throughout 2024, equating to the delivery of one new aircraft almost every month next year. These new aircraft enable both significant growth and improved fuel efficiency.

New MAX-8 aircraft will reduce emissions by at least 15 per cent per flight compared to older generation 737’s, supporting the airline’s 2030 ambition of reducing carbon emissions intensity by 22 per cent and commitment to targeting net zero emissions by 2050. The MAX-8 aircraft also feature new generation interiors and are 40 per cent quieter than existing 737s.

The existing order of 25 x MAX-10s, with an expected delivery from late 2025, remains in place[1]. The larger MAX-10s will transport more passengers for a similar amount of fuel to current 737 aircraft, resulting in 17 per cent less emissions per seat per trip.

Virgin Australia maintains one of the youngest commercial fleets in Australia, with an average age of 11.7 years. In coming days, work will start on a $110 million interior refresh and product upgrade across the airline’s existing 737s. The first refitted aircraft is scheduled to come out of maintenance in Melbourne in early December, and the project will be completed during the next 18-24 months. The project includes:

  • Installation of in-seat power for all Business Class and Economy seats.
  • Installation of new Business Class seats, consistent with the new Boeing MAX-8 aircraft.
  • Installation of new or refreshed Economy seats, with seat design to be consistent with the new Boeing MAX-8 aircraft.
  • Introduction of in-flight Wi-Fi and complimentary in-flight entertainment (via a guest’s own personal device) to aircraft not yet upgraded for WiFi.

Commentary from Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Alistair Hartley:

“Travel demand remains high and we continue to grow and renew our fleet, enabling us to deliver great value and choice in the market,” Mr Hartley said.

“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.”

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACT:

Virgin Australia Group Corporate Affairs: corporateaffairs@virginaustralia.com or 1800 142 467.

FOOTNOTE: 1. Subject to regulatory approval.

[1] Subject to regulatory approvals