By James Wilkinson
Virgin Blue has expansion firmly on the agenda, following the order of up to 105 brand new 737-800 aircraft from Boeing.
Virgin Blue has ordered up to 105 Boeing 737 aircraft
The deal, the largest in Virgin Blue’s ten-year history, includes 50 firm orders for Boeing 737-800 aircraft, 25 additional firm delivery positions and the purchase rights on 30 more aircraft. The airline also has the flexibility to convert the orders to smaller Boeing 737-700 or larger Boeing 737-900 aircraft.
According to the airline, a large percentage of the aircraft (due for delivery from June 2011 through 2017) are intended to replace existing Boeing 737s in the fleet, while the remainder will be used on new routes and to increase frequency on others.
“Securing this agreement now places Virgin Blue in a strong position to prepare for steady future growth as domestic and short haul markets recover,” said Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey
“It will also ensure a turnover of aircraft to maintain the youngest fleet of modern aircraft which is crucial for maintaining our commitment to on-time performance and the lowest cost base possible,” he said.
The new aircraft will be fitted with Boeing’s new roomier interiors, which include more headroom, newly designed seats and seat back entertainment and will complement Virgin Blue’s ‘Airline of the Future’ initiative being rolled out in 2011.