Virgin Australia postpones delivery of Boeing 737 MAX 8, converts 15 to MAX 10

Computer rendering of a Virgin Australia Boeing 737 MAX 8. Photo: © Boeing

Virgin Australia has chosen to postpone deliveries of the Boeing 737 MAX. The airline has also converted 15 aircraft of its order for the type to the larger MAX 10 variant.

Boeing 737 MAX 8 deliveries to Virgin Australia were originally set to begin delivery in November this year, with MAX 10 deliveries staring in 2022. The first MAX 8 will now be delivered in February 2025 as a result of the changes made, while the MAX 10 has been pushed forward to July 2021.

The carrier says this adjusted delivery schedule would make the new aircraft come at a better time.

This includes a significant deferral of capital expenditure by extending the use of existing aircraft given the relatively young age of our fleet along with providing the group earlier access to the superior operational economics of the MAX 10 aircraft.Paul Scurrah, CEO of Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737 fleet has an average age of less than nine years.

In addition to the delivery schedule adjustments, Virgin has converted 15 of its 38 ordered 737 MAX 8 to the larger MAX 10. The airline now has a total of 23 MAX 8 and 25 MAX 10 on order.

These changes come after two deadly crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, both caused by similar control issues, and causing a global grounding of the aircraft type.

Virgin Australia stated that it will not take any deliveries until Boeing has fixed all safety issues with the 737 MAX.

We are confident in Boeing’s commitment to returning the 737 MAX to service safely and as a long-term partner of Boeing, we will be working with them through this process.Paul Scurrah, CEO of Virgin Australia

The Australian airline currently operates a jet fleet consisting of 80 previous generation Boeing 737 (-700 and -800), as well as five 777-300ER and six Airbus A330-200 long haul aircraft.