18 November 2021 | Operations

Virgin Australia soaring one year after re-launch

  •  One year after relaunching under new ownership, Virgin Australia Group has signed letters of intent to acquire an additional seven Boeing 737NG aircraft, bringing this fleet to 84 aircraft.
  • Following a difficult 12 months for team members with border closures and travel restrictions, all Virgin Australia team members will be fully stood up by 1 December. 
  • On top of that, Virgin Australia is currently recruiting for an additional 600 roles across the business.
  • Delivering on commitments made when relaunching, Virgin Australia has spent the last 12 months clearly focused on retaining 33 per cent domestic market share, by delivering great value to corporate travellers, small to medium businesses, and leisure travellers of all types.

Thursday 18 November 2021: Virgin Australia’s frontline team will be completely stood up by December, with hundreds of new roles to be recruited and more aircraft to be added to the airline’s fleet as the business readies itself for growth in demand on the back of rising vaccination rates and open borders.

Speaking at a staff event at Virgin Australia’s Brisbane hangar which was live-streamed into the airline’s Sydney and Melbourne bases, Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka thanked team members for their dedication, loyalty and support since the airline’s re-launch 12 months ago.

Ms Hrdlicka said it had been a huge year for the airline in so many ways: “and it wouldn’t have been possible to be in the position we are today, standing here, more competitive than ever, marking one year since our re-launch, if not for our amazing people.”

Ms Hrdlicka confirmed the entire workforce would be stood up by next month, and that Virgin Australia has close to 600 roles advertised across five states to support the introduction of new aircraft, including in engineering, pit crew, cabin crew and corporate.

The business is also continuing to add to its fleet, with Letters of Intent signed on seven Boeing 737NG aircraft. Over the last 12 months since its re-launch, Virgin Australia has announced it will grow its 737 fleet by over 45 per cent, from 58 aircraft to 84 aircraft with the additional aircraft announced today.  An additional two A320s also have been recently added to VARA, the group’s West Australian resource operation, bringing VARA’s total A320 fleet number to seven, along with a number of F100 aircraft.

“This fleet growth underlines the confidence we have in the future of our business and the industry generally.  Vaccination rates are rising, borders are opening, and demand is returning,” Ms Hrdlicka said.

“We are really positive about travel restarting as borders open more fully.  We have used our time well while the industry was quiet and are well advanced on all aspects of our transformation strategy and we fully intend to continue growing with demand to ensure we operate at roughly 33 per cent of the domestic market.  This enables us to continue to deliver the right mix of destinations with high frequency to support both our business and leisure purpose guests.  It also means continued jobs growth at Virgin Australia and our team are delighted to be welcoming new family members to the organisation.   

“The strength of Virgin Australia lies in our people, who have been the most extraordinary inspiration through the toughest of times with border closures and standdowns.  They have stayed positive, been incredibly flexible, demonstrated such loyalty and commitment, and worked hard every day to make a difference for our guests and our airline. The passion for our airline runs deep through all of our team members and has helped us all get through the long periods of very little flying.”

Last month Virgin Australia had the biggest conversion rate of flight searches to sales in a 24-hour period since 2018. The airline unveiled the addition of ten aircraft to its fleet in April and a further nine aircraft in August, with all to be operational over the peak summer season. The business has announced 12 new domestic routes since September, with international operations to commence next month.

Virgin Australia will shortly resume short haul international services, with a schedule of services to Fiji, Bali and New Zealand, commencing with flights to Fiji on 16 December 2021.