Virgin Australia Boosts its Order for 737 MAX-8 Planes


Virgin Australia has added six MAX-8s to its new Boeing MAX family aircraft pipeline, with six more expected for delivery in the second half of 2024, increasing the airline’s total MAX-8s to 14 and the total number of planned latest-generation aircraft to 39.

The newest addition to the fleet, ‘Bronte Beach,’ arrived in Brisbane on Friday afternoon from the United States.

The remaining 11 MAX-8 aircraft will arrive throughout 2024, amounting to one new aircraft delivered nearly every month next year. These new aircraft allow significant growth while also improving fuel efficiency.

Compared to earlier generation 737s, the MAX-8 aircraft will lower emissions by at least 15% on every flight, supporting the airline’s 2030 aim of reducing carbon emissions intensity by 22% and commitment to nett zero emissions by 2050. The MAX-8 aircraft also have next-generation cabin interiors and are 40% quieter than existing 737s.

The existing order of 25 MAX-10s, with delivery due in late 2025, remains in place. The larger MAX-10 aircraft will transport more passengers for the same amount of fuel as the current 737 aircraft, resulting in 17% less emissions per seat per trip.

With an average age of 11.7 years, Virgin Australia has one of the youngest commercial fleets in Australia. Work on a $110 million interior refresh and product upgrade for the airline’s current 737s will begin in the coming days. The first refurbished aircraft is slated to leave Melbourne maintenance in early December, and the project will be completed in 18-24 months. The project includes:

  • Installation of in-seat power for all Business Class and Economy seats.
  • Installation of new Business Class seats, consistent with the new Boeing MAX-8 aircraft.
  • Installation of new or refreshed Economy seats, with seat design consistent with the new Boeing MAX-8 aircraft.
  • Introduction of in-flight Wi-Fi and complimentary in-flight entertainment (via a guest’s device) to aircraft not yet upgraded for Wi-Fi.
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“Travel demand remains high, and we continue to grow and renew our fleet, enabling us to deliver great value and choice in the market,” said Alistair Hartley, Virgin Australia’s Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer.

“We are investing in our fleet to meet our customers’ needs best while positioning the business for success in the long term. A more modern, sustainable, and streamlined fleet is central to our ongoing transformation.”