UPDATE | Virgin Australia is bringing forward its move to the Boeing 737 MAX with first deliveries of the fuel-efficient jet now due in 2018.
PREVIOUS | Virgin Australia is betting big with Boeing on the future of its domestic fleet, today announcing an order for 23 of Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
Designed as a next-gen replacement for the Boeing 737-800, and listing at US$95.2m apiece, the fuel-efficient 737 MAX will join Virgin Australia’s fleet between 2019 and 2021 and be the first of its kind in Australia.
As part of the deal, Virgin Australia will delay the delivery of some Boeing 737-800s until after 2016, leaving 31 scheduled deliveries of Boeing 737-800 aircraft between 2013 and 2016.
Virgin Australia expects to retire all of its Boeing 737-700 aircraft by the end of 2013.
“The Boeing 737 has formed a critical part of the Virgin Australia fleet over the past decade thanks to its reliability, comfort and fuel efficiency” says Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti.
“The Boeing 737 MAX will build on this, enabling us to achieve strong on time performance and maintain our low cost base.”
The 737 MAX isn’t due to debut until 2017, but Boeing predicts it will deliver lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions that are some 13 percent lower compared to “today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft.”
The aircraft will also feature the light and spacious Boeing Sky Interior already seen on the latest Virgin and Qantas 737-800s as well as quiet engine technology to “signficantly reduce its noise footprint”.
Source : Australia Business Traveller