Virgin Australia became the newest operator of the Boeing 737 MAX, after the airline operated several domestic flights with the type on July 10, 2023.
The airline’s sole Boeing 737 MAX-8, registered as VH-8IA, took off on regularly scheduled flight VA308 between Brisbane Airport (BNE) and Melbourne Airport (MEL) at 7:15 AM local time (UTC +10). Once the aircraft landed at MEL, it continued on flight VA833 to Sydney Airport (SYD) and finally returned to BNE on flight VA943, its fourth itinerary of the day.
Boeing delivered the 737 MAX-8 to Virgin Australia on June 28, 2023, with the aircraft reaching BNE on June 30, 2023, according to flightradar24.com data. The narrow-body jet operated its first flight on May 22, 2023.
In total, Virgin Australia is scheduled to take delivery of eight more 737 MAX-8 and 25 737 MAX-10, renewing and growing its fleet of narrow-body aircraft, according to ch-aviation.com data. The site’s data also showed that the airline currently has nine 737-700 NextGeneration (NG) and 60 737-800 aircraft in its fleet. Additionally, it has wet leased four Fokker F70, five F100, and five Saab 340B turboprops for regional operations.
Prior to the 737 MAX-8 delivery, Virgin Australia’s last new aircraft delivery was in 2018, ch-aviation.com data showed.
“This aircraft, which has a longer range than the 737-800 NG, will shortly join our new Cairns-Haneda route which is taking off for the first time today, elevating travel between Tokyo and Far North Queensland,” said Stuart Aggs, the chief operations officer (COO) of Virgin Australia, when the airline officially took delivery of the aircraft.
“As well as being more fuel efficient, the 737-8 is approximately 40 per cent quieter than the current 737-800 NG fleet and comes fitted with our new generation seats, which include device holders and in-seat power,” he added.