Virgin Australia has begun the commencement clock on the appearance of its first Boeing 737 MAX fly, presently barely short of two years from winging its direction from Boeing’s assembly centre at Renton, north of Seattle, to Virgin’s Brisbane sheds.
It’ll be the first Boeing 737 MAX worked by an Australian airline, with Qantas yet to decide if its own domestic refresh will stay with Boeing’s new workhorse or shift to the Airbus A321neo family.
The MAX will likewise mark an evolution of Virgin’s fleet and its traveler experience, with new business class and economy seats expected to make a big appearance on the next-gen jet.
In an explanation gave to the media today, Virgin affirmed it had “commenced planning for the mid-2023 arrival of its first Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft.”
The airline promotes the stream as delivering “greater operational efficiencies and enhanced product and design features for customers and the environment.”
Under previous CEO John Borghetti, Virgin signed up for 23 of the more modest Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 25 of its ‘big brother’ Boeing 737 MAX 10.
In any case, recently printed CEO Jayne Hrdlicka reshaped that order to scrap the MAX 8 for the bigger and more adaptable Boeing 737 MAX 10, which started test flights in June this year.
The MAX 10 has seating for around 200 travelers in a standard two-class layout, and fly 3,300 nautical miles (about 6,000km) whenever outfitted with an auxiliary fuel tank.
Virgin expects to program the jet on high-density domestic and short-range international routes, as well as routes confronting “constraints due to slot availability limitations.”
Sydney-Melbourne is maybe the best example of this: in normal times, this corridor rates as one of the world’s most active domestic routes, for certain 150 flights each day transporting between the two cities, so bigger airplane trump more modest ones.
“It will do a great job for us transcontinental, it’ll do a great job for us in more traditional short-haul (than longer) international routes,” Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka remarked at a CAPA Centre for Aviation event in December 2020.
Borghetti additionally saw the Boeing 737 MAX 10 as launchpad for Virgin’s next-generation business class, supposedly a fully-flat bed which in July 2017 he said would deliver a “quantum leap in domestic business class”, supplanting Virgin’s armada of Airbus A330s when those jets initiated an aggressive yet later-aborted expansion into Asia.
Borghetti’s corner office replacement Paul Scurrah set the ‘Perth product’ on the back-burner, and by certain reports sent it either back to where it all began or into the rubbish bin, which will just add to the interest in what the Hrdlicka-led and presently privately-owned aircraft will carry out in two year’s time.