LONDON – Virgin Australia has deferred its Boeing 737 MAX 8 orders until 2025 and believes it will take six years until the public will feel safe onboard the aircraft, in light of the recent situation involving the 737 MAX Family.
Virgin Australia was slated to receive its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in November this year, however, the airline has postponed first deliveries until 2025.
The airline has 23 MAX 8s on order, whilst it recently converted 15 of these into Boeing 737 MAX 10s.
Virgin Australia has said this in light of the safety of the aircraft and the two recent crashes involving the type.
Paul Scurrah, Virgin Australia CEO, said this in regards to the order deferral, “What this does in the short term is it results in a significant deferral of capital expenditure and in the long term it lets us access earlier benefits from the better economics of the Max 10.”
He added, “We’re confident in Boeing’s commitment to return the 737 Max to service safely and that’s both versions, and as a long-term partner we’re looking forward to working with them and looking forward to working through the process.”
Despite Virgin Australia postponing 737MAX8 orders, it has already postponed orders for the type, and have postponed some 737 Next Generation deliveries in recent years.
It certainly won’t be the last airline to postpone orders for the type, given the current situation.
For Boeing, this isn’t solidly bad news, as it still has the orders in the logbook.
That being said, Virgin Australia, like with other carriers, could change its mind on the orders of the aircraft and could switch to different manufacturers.
The Paris Air Show next month will definitely be a proving ground for Airbus to see how many orders it can poach off Boeing with the A320neo family.