Virgin Australia is set to expand its fleet with the addition of six more Boeing MAX-8 aircraft, scheduled for delivery in the latter half of 2024.
This strategic move increases the airline’s total MAX-8 count to 14 and its overall latest generation aircraft to 39. The decision aligns with the airline’s commitment to growth, efficiency, and sustainability.
The new fleet addition, named ‘Bronte Beach,’ will make its debut in Brisbane, arriving from the United States. This arrival is a precursor to the delivery of 11 more MAX-8s throughout 2024, essentially introducing a new aircraft nearly every month in the coming year. The new MAX-8s are not just an expansion in numbers but also a significant step towards improved environmental performance.
These state-of-the-art aircraft are expected to reduce emissions by at least 15% per flight compared to older 737 models, echoing Virgin Australia’s ambition to cut carbon emissions intensity by 22% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The MAX-8s are equipped with new generation interiors and are 40% quieter than the existing 737s, enhancing passenger experience.
In addition to the MAX-8s, Virgin Australia’s existing order of 25 MAX-10s remains on track, with deliveries expected from late 2025. The MAX-10s, while larger, are designed to transport more passengers using a similar amount of fuel as current 737s, resulting in 17% less emissions per seat per trip.
Virgin Australia prides itself on maintaining one of Australia’s youngest commercial fleets, currently averaging 11.7 years. The airline is also initiating a $110 million interior refresh and product upgrade across its existing 737s. The project includes installing in-seat power, new Business Class seats, and refreshed Economy seats consistent with the MAX-8 design. Additionally, the upgrade encompasses the introduction of in-flight Wi-Fi and complimentary entertainment, elevating the passenger experience to new heights.
Alistair Hartley, Virgin Australia’s Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, commented on the 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 added, “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.”
Virgin Australia’s fleet expansion and upgrade underscore its dedication to meeting the evolving needs of its customers and its commitment to a sustainable future in aviation.