Category Archives: Virgin Australia Airlines

Virgin Australia becomes the first operator of Split Scimitar® Winglets in Australia

Virgin Australia Airlines is now the first airline in Australia to install Split Scimitar Winglets on its Boeing Next Generation 737-800 aircraft.  The Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) product, a retrofit of the existing Blended Winglets, is the most advanced technology winglet ever produced, offering unprecedented fuel savings and carbon emissions reductions for the world’s most popular commercial aircraft.

Installation on the first aircraft was completed last week in Christchurch and now Virgin Australia can expect to reduce fuel consumption by about 200,000 liters per aircraft per year.  The resulting carbon dioxide emissions reduction is about 515 tonnes per aircraft per year.

Since launching the Split Scimitar Winglet program for the Boeing Next-Generation 737, APB has taken orders and options for over 2,200 systems, and over 1,200 aircraft are now operating with the technology.  APB estimates its products have reduced aircraft fuel consumption worldwide by over 9.8 billion gallons to-date, thereby eliminating over 104 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Virgin Australia pushes back its first Boeing 737 MAX delivery to July 2021


Virgin Australia has announced it will delay the delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

The airline has 48 copies on order (23 MAX 8s and 25 MAX 10s).

The first delivery has been delayed from November 2019 to July 2021. The first delivery will be a MAX 10.

Virgin Australia leads Australian first with delivery of sustainable aviation fuel at Brisbane Airport

Virgin Australia today announced it has achieved an Australian first, with the successful completion of a trial to deliver sustainable aviation fuel through Brisbane Airport’s general fuel supply system.

Working in partnership with the Queensland Government, Brisbane Airport Corporation, US-based biofuel producer Gevo, Inc. and supply chain partners Caltex and DB Schenker, Virgin Australia led the procurement and blending of sustainable aviation fuel, or biojet, with traditional jet fuel for supply into the fuel infrastructure at Brisbane Airport.

This is the first time that sustainable aviation fuel has been delivered through the general fuel supply system at any airport in Australia and makes Brisbane Airport one of the few airports globally where this has occurred.

As a result of the trial, biojet has now been used to fuel 195 domestic and international flights departing from Brisbane Airport, travelling more than 430,000 kilometres to destinations across Queensland, Australia and around the globe.

Biojet meets recognised international quality and safety standards and contributes to lower levels of carbon emissions compared to traditional fossil jet fuel on a life cycle basis. It can be derived from sustainable sources including sugarcane bagasse, molasses, wood waste and agave and is already in use at major airports in Oslo and Los Angeles.

Virgin Australia Airlines Group Executive, Rob Sharp, said the airline was proud to lead the delivery of sustainable aviation fuel into the fuel infrastructure at Brisbane Airport.

“Virgin Australia is leading the way in the production and use of sustainable aviation fuel in Australia. We recognise that there is a great opportunity to develop a thriving sustainable fuels industry, which will help to reduce emissions and drive investment and jobs growth in Australia.

“The successful completion of the trial at Brisbane Airport is the first important step in ensuring Australian airports and the fuel supply chain will be ready for the regular supply of sustainable fuels in Australia.

“We would like to thank the Queensland Government and our partners for their involvement and look forward to fuelling more flights departing from Brisbane Airport with biojet over the next 12-18 months,” he said.

Speaking from Brisbane Airport, Queensland Premier, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk, said she was pleased with the work that had been undertaken with the trial to progress developing a local biofuels industry in Australia.

“This is another step forward in a homegrown biofuels industry – one that my government is supporting. Our own biofuels producers have a ready customer in Virgin Australia and I look forward to their cooperation growing,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) Chief Executive Officer, Gert-Jan de Graaff, said the initiative was clearly aligned with BAC’s strategy to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

“BAC is committed to reducing Brisbane Airport’s impact on the environment and putting in place programs that help us to manage and minimise the long-term impacts of climate change.

“We are very proud to be the first airport in Australia, and one of only a few hubs in the world, to have biofuel as part of its fuel supply system as it will help reduce Brisbane Airport’s carbon footprint even further by assisting the airlines to reduce their emissions,” Mr de Graaff said.

Caltex Executive General Manager, Fuels & Infrastructure, Louise Warner, said that Caltex was delighted to support Virgin Australia’s trial of biojet in the Australian airspace.

“Our team at Lytton used their extensive supply chain skills and jet fuel quality control knowledge to manage the successful biojet supply trial, right here in Queensland.

“As a proud Australian company and Australia’s largest supplier of transport fuels, we support the investigation of alternative fuels such as biojet as part of the future fuel options for Australia, and we acknowledge Virgin Australia’s leadership in achieving this important milestone,” she said.

Photos: Virgin Australia.

Virgin Australia converts ten orders for the 737 MAX 8 to the larger MAX 10

Boeing has made this announcement:

Boeing and the Virgin Australia Group announced the airline is adding the largest and most efficient member of the 737 MAX family to its growing single-aisle fleet. The carrier has converted ten orders for the 737 MAX 8 (above) for the larger MAX 10 variant (below).

Aerial view of Sydney, Australia

The airline, which has a number of 737 MAX 8s on order, said it saw the value of adding the MAX 10 to the mix as the aircraft will provide additional capacity and flexibility.

Virgin Australia Group Chief Financial Officer Geoff Smith said, “We are pleased to be welcoming the 737 MAX 10 aircraft into our expanding fleet in 2022. The addition of the 737 MAX 10 will provide us with additional flexibility and capability to support our network and operations. We are proud to become Australia’s first operator of the 737 MAX and we look forward to the opportunities that operating this type of aircraft will open up to us.”

With its headquarters in Brisbane, Australia, the Virgin Australia Group is the country’s second-largest airline with a fleet of more than 130 aircraft. The Next-Generation 737 has formed the backbone of the Group’s fleet with more than 80 currently in operation and the 737 MAX is expected to bolster the Group’s fleet.

The MAX 10 is the largest member of the 737 MAX aircraft family. The airplane will offer operators the lowest cost per seat mile of any commercial aircraft and fly 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) farther than today’s Next-Generation 737s. This extended range means that the 737 MAX 10 will be able to cover 99 percent of single-aisle routes around the world.

Virgin Australia joins more than 20 customers who have placed over 500 orders and commitments for the MAX 10. In all, the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane family in Boeing history, having attracted more than 100 customers and nearly 4,700 orders.

Images: Boeing.

Virgin Australia to offer WiFi for all trans-Tasman flights

Virgin Australia Airlines Boeing 737-8FE WL VH-YIM (msn 38716) DPS (Pascal Simon). Image: 942980.

Virgin Australia today unveiled a suite of enhancements to make the journey to New Zealand even more comfortable for Australian travellers, including becoming the only airline to offer WiFi for all Trans-Tasman flights.

From October 28, 2018, all Virgin Australia guests flying to Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and Dunedin will receive:

  • A substantial meal and drink included in all fares;
  • At least 23kg of baggage included in all fares;
  • WiFi on all flights including 15 minutes of complimentary access; and
  • Increased Velocity Frequent Flyer Points and Status Credits earn potential.

Virgin Australia Airlines Group Executive Rob Sharp, said the airline was excited to provide an even better product and service for guests travelling to New Zealand.

“Last year, 1.5 million Australians flew to New Zealand and we’re looking forward to making their trip across the ditch even more enjoyable with a meal and drink as well as WiFi so they can keep connected whilst in the sky,” he said.

“We’re committed to expanding our presence in New Zealand with new services including flights from Sydney to Wellington; Melbourne to Queenstown; and Newcastle to Auckland as well as extra flights to Auckland, all of which commence in the next couple of months.”

Virgin Australia’s award-winning loyalty program, Velocity Frequent Flyer, has also announced new benefits for members travelling to Short Haul International destinations such as New Zealand, Bali, Fiji, and Samoa.

From 28 October, Velocity members will now be awarded a minimum of five Points per dollar spent1 on fares from New Zealand. Platinum, Gold and Silver members will continue to earn a Points Bonus meaning that Platinum Velocity members will now receive up to 10 Points per dollar spent.2

Velocity Frequent Flyer CEO Karl Schuster, said he was delighted to give Velocity members more Points earning power, as well as improving the number of Status Credits earned on Short Haul International flights.

“For the first time, Velocity members will earn Points per dollar spent for Short Haul International destinations, rather than based on the distance travelled. Members will earn more Velocity Points when travelling to these destinations and we believe our Points offer for New Zealand flights is one of the best,” he said.

“Members will also experience improved Status Credit earn to many Short Haul International destinations including flights to and from New Zealand. This means members can achieve a higher Velocity status faster and unlock further membership benefits.”


Virgin Australia today also announced a codeshare arrangement with Singapore Airlines on flights between Melbourne and Wellington, for travel from 28 October. The flights, operated by Singapore Airlines, will operate four times per week and will allow Virgin Australia customers to seamlessly connect their travel and baggage onto other destinations and enable Velocity members to earn Points and Status Credits.3

1 Flights purchased in NZD or other currency will earn Velocity Points based on AUD-equivalent spent
2 Flights purchased in NZD or other currency will earn Velocity Points based on AUD-equivalent spent
3 Where your Trans-Tasman or International Short Haul journey contains a flight with a VA flight number operated by a Velocity Partner Airline you will earn Points and Status Credits based on your fare class and the number of miles flown for the whole journey, including any flights operated by Virgin Australia

Top Copyright Photo (all other by Virgin Australia): Virgin Australia Airlines Boeing 737-8FE WL VH-YIM (msn 38716) DPS (Pascal Simon). Image: 942980.

Virgin Australia aircraft slide show:

Virgin Australia to fly from Hobart to Perth

Named "Casuarina Beach"

Virgin Australia on September 27, 2018 will launch nonstop service from Hobart, Tasmania to Perth, Western Australia. The new route will operate three days a week with Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Photo Above Virgin Australia. 2018 is the Chinese Year Of The Dog, and a pack of picture paw-fect pooches joined the Virgin Australia Cabin Crew and Dannii Minogue on the tarmac to celebrate the inaugural Sydney – Hong Kong flight.

Top Copyright Photo: Virgin Australia Airlines Boeing 737-8FE WL VH-YIS (msn 39926) DPS (Pascal Simon). Image: 942654.

Virgin Australia aircraft slide show:

Virgin Australia inaugurates Sydney – Hong Kong service

Virgin Australia operated its inaugural Sydney – Hong Kong flight on July 1, after lion dancers and drummers marched through Sydney Airport, led by Dannii Minogue.

Virgin Australia now operates 12 return services weekly from Australia to Hong Kong, with daily flights from Sydney and 5 flights per week from Melbourne.

Photo: Virgin Australia.