Virgin Australia has finalized a firm order for 23 Boeing 737 MAX jets and has taken options on four additional aircraft.
With this order, Virgin Australia becomes the first Australian airline to order the new Boeing 737 MAX, while adding to its existing fleet of 68 Boeing 737NG aircraft.
Although Boeing has not disclosed which version or versions of the Boeing 737 MAX that Virgin Australia has ordered, the Australian carrier has said it expects to stop operating Boeing 737-700s within the next two years to concentrate on higher-capacity 737 models.
Accordingly, it appears likely Virgin Australia will wants its newly ordered aircraft to be Boeing 737 MAX 8 or 737 MAX 9 jets.
Powered by two CFM International LEAP-1B engines, the 737 MAX will reduce fuel use by an additional 13 per cent over today’s most fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft, according to Boeing.
The manufacturer claims the 737 MAX 8 will have the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle segment, Boeing claiming it will have an eight per cent advantage per seat over its main competitor, the high-selling Airbus A320neo.
Virgin Australia established its operations in Australia with two Boeing 737s in August 2000. The airline currently operates a fleet of 68 Boeing 737NGs and five Boeing 777-300ER widebodies.
Ailerons for all Boeing 737s are manufactured in Australia by Boeing Aerostructures Australia.