Virgin Atlantic has unveiled the first phase of its fleet growth programme which will see it acquire four new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft introduced to its network and those Fokker twin-engine F100 aircraft which are retired from service will be replaced by Boeing 737-700s. The carrier currently operates a fleet of 10 F100s.
The MAX 8 will help reduce carbon emissions by up to 15% when compared to the carrier’s current 737 NG jets, while the 737-700 will be able to carry more passengers with the same fuel burn, resulting in a 30% reduction in emissions per aircraft seat when compared to the F100. Virgin Australia’s current Boeing 737 fleet comprises 737-700 and 737-800 variants of the narrow-body jet and will grow to 88 aircraft once the four MAX 8 aircraft have been delivered, their delivery scheduled to commence in February 2023.
The Virgin Australia Group also has 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10s on order which will further reduce emissions by 17% when compared to existing 737 NGs. “We are on track to return to 100% of pre-COVID domestic capacity by June this year and expect to well exceed those levels by year’s end, and our resources sector and contract flying in WA is in high demand. This investment in our fleet reflects the increased demand we are experiencing in all parts of Virgin Australia,” Hrdlicka said, adding that: “With growth comes a larger carbon footprint, so it’s vital that we take the right steps now to ensure that as we do more flying, we are also working to reduce our emissions.”