Virgin Australia Group has announced four additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and priority access to a Boeing 737NG full-flight simulator that will be deployed in Jandakot, near Perth, as part of a long-term partnership with global aviation training provider CAE.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which are in addition to another four MAX 8 aircraft announced in April 2022, will reduce emissions by 15 per cent per flight* and play an important part in Virgin Australia’s Net Zero journey. These additional aircraft support capacity increases in-line with Virgin Australia’s broader growth strategy bringing total Boeing 737 fleet to 92 (consisting of 737-700s, 737-800s and Boeing MAX 8s) an increase of nearly 60 per cent since relaunching in November 2020. First delivery of the additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is expected in 2023.
Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said today’s announcements demonstrate the airline’s commitment to the Australian aviation market and to sustainably grow its fleet for long-term success. Hrdlicka said the key to Virgin Australia’s success in remaining Australia’s most loved airline is undoubtedly its people and increasing domestic 737 training capacity by 25 percent is a major win for the airline.
“Not only will we have increased pilot training capacity shortly, I am delighted that this week we have reached another major milestone with our team growing to over 7,000 team members, which is a real indication of the growth delivered in a very short time by Virgin Australia. Today is not only about investing in our operations, but our people too. We are passionate about creating the best employee experience in Australian aviation and attracting around 2,000 people to our airline in just under two years is testament to the priority we place on our team members,” Hrdlicka said. “The future of Virgin Australia is bright, and today’s announcements highlight our commitment to maintain strong competition for Australians who want to travel and experience great value. It also underscores our confidence in our underlying performance and commitment to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“Despite the challenges faced by our industry, demand for travel remains strong and we’re responding with a focus on the long-term by increasing the efficiency and sustainability of our fleet with four additional Boeing MAX 8s joining our fleet from 2023,” Hrdlicka said. “I’m also thrilled today to announce a long-term partnership with world-class aviation training provider CAE, who will deploy a 737NG full-flight simulator for Virgin Australia at their training centre in Jandakot, near Perth. Demand for 737NG simulator training is at extraordinary levels globally and securing this capacity at home is an enormous benefit to both Virgin Australia, and our pilots undergoing training. Today is a great day for our pilots and for Perth. The continued focus on investment in people, aircraft and infrastructure is important to our business and the added activity in Perth will be great for many of our existing partners in Western Australia. This means our Western Australian pilots will have the opportunity to be trained at their home base, saving them travel time to and from the East Coast or further, while providing significant cost savings to the business and driving efficiency in our training program. This is the first time we will have a simulator outside of Queensland or Victoria, and while Virgin Australia’s home will always be in the Sunshine State, it demonstrates the growth and importance of our business in Western Australia and of the state to Virgin Australia.”