Virgin Australia to add nine Boeing 737-800 aircraft, will require employee vaccinations

Virgin Australia will introduce nine additional Boeing 737-800 aircraft into its mainline fleet from October this year in preparation for an expected increase in domestic travel as vaccination rates rise and interstate borders open.

The aircraft are planned for operation over the peak summer season to accommodate expected holiday travel, with an aim for all nine to be in the air by mid-February 2022.

Virgin Australia has also commenced planning for the mid-2023 arrival of its first Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft, which will deliver greater operational efficiencies and enhanced product and design features for customers and the environment.

  • The nine Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft have specifications that are compatible with Virgin Australia’s existing fleet.
CURRENT MAINLINE FLEET

As at August, 2021

PLANNED MAINLINE FLEET

By March 2022

2 x Boeing 737-700

66 x Boeing 737-800

Total: 68

2 x Boeing 737-700

75 x Boeing 737-800

Total: 77

In other news, the airline also made this announcement:

  • Virgin Australia has announced that it is commencing consultation with employees and unions over its proposal to require COVID-19 vaccination for all team members, on the basis that vaccination is necessary to keep their people, customers and the wider Australian community safe.
  • A consultation process will commence shortly with relevant unions, employees and safety committees. Under the proposed policy, frontline team members will be required to be vaccinated by 15 November 2021, and all office-based team members by 31 March 2022.
  • Following consultation, and after we have considered feedback from employees and unions, a final policy will be announced next month.
  • Virgin Australia understands some team members have concerns and questions and has established an education campaign to assure and inform as many employees as possible ahead of 15 November 2021.
  • Virgin Australia will launch its VA-X & WIN competition for staff and customers this week to encourage all Australians to get behind vaccination.

Virgin Australia has announced that it is commencing consultation with unions and employees to require COVID-19 vaccination for all team members. The company believes that requiring vaccination is the best way to protect the health and safety of our workforce, and in turn the wider Australian community and everyone’s way of life.

A consultation process will commence shortly with relevant unions, employees and safety committees before Virgin Australia decides a final policy next month.

It is currently proposed that all frontline team members be vaccinated by 15 November 2021, and all office-based team members by 31 March 2022. Those with medical issues that can be substantiated will be managed on a case-by-case basis.

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said that recent events have demonstrated that it only takes one person to create a knock-on effect which creates significant impacts for our employees and the community more broadly.

Virgin Australia will continue to assist employees with securing vaccination appointments and provide flexible working arrangements, so team members can receive their vaccinations.

A recent survey of Virgin Australia team members found that over 75 per cent of our frontline workforce have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with another 9 per cent registered for vaccination.  In relation to our office-based workforce, who do not get the same priority access to vaccines as our frontline team members, over 56 per cent have had at least one dose, with another 27 per cent registered to be vaccinated.