Virgin Australia Group is adding four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to its order book and has secured priority access to a Boeing 737NG full-flight simulator at Jandakot, as part of a long-term partnership with global aviation training provider CAE.
Early next year the airline will start deploying 737-700NGs in WA to replace its Fokker 100s which are used for FIFO charters.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which are in addition to another four announced in April, will support capacity increases to meet the airline’s growth strategy.
The extra aircraft will bring the 737 fleet to 92, an increase of nearly 60 per cent since the airline relaunched in November 2020.
The first delivery of the additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is expected in 2023.
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Virgin Australia Group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said the announcements demonstrate the airline’s commitment to the Australian aviation market and to sustainably grow its fleet for long-term success.
“Not only will we have increased pilot training capacity shortly, but I am also 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 about investing in our operations and 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,” Ms Hrdlicka said.
“I’m also thrilled 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.
“Demand for 737NG simulator training is at extraordinary levels globally and securing this capacity at home is an enormous benefit to Virgin Australia, and our pilots undergoing training.
“Today is a great day for our pilots and for Perth.
“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 it demonstrates the growth and importance of our business in Western Australia and of the state to Virgin Australia.”