Virgin to Pick Boeing 787 or Airbus A350

4th Mar 2013

Which between the two planes Virgin Australia will eventually pick? By end of the year, Virgin Australia will decide which of the two planes will make it to its fleet by 2017?

They come from different manufacturers but both aircraft are marketed as fuel efficient than their older generations. Despite the plane's recent mechanical and technical glitches, John Borghetti, Virgin Australia CEO, still considers B787 as a good investment for its fleet expansion.

The Dreamliner remains grounded after FAA ordered all operators around the world to ground all its B787 fleet for the time being until the agency completed its investigation or until a sufficient data is available that will prove its airworthiness to fly again.

The Virgin CEO still has faith in the plane, saying he will still consider the plane along with the rival's A350 for its expansion program.

He indicated in August last year that a decision will be made by the airline within 12 months which aircraft the airline will choose for its fleet expansion. However, in his latest pronouncement, he changed his statements again and reiterated to the media that a decision might come out at the end of the year.

The airline is planning to replace its mix fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Currently, the transcontinental coast to coast routes are served by Airbus fleet while Boeing fleet serves North America and Middle East routes.

The carrier has placed an order of 23 jets, worth A$2.7 billion with the options of four more aircraft.

In the future, the domestic routes will be served by all-Boeing B737 MAX 8 aircraft which the airline will take delivery sometime in 2019. The 737 MAX is a new family of aircraft still under development which will have its first delivery by 2017.

The new-generation 737 MAX is touted by its maker as the most fuel-efficient aircraft. It will even shadow its forerunner, the 787 Dreamliner, in terms of fuel burn and CO2 emission efficiency when it is finally shipped out.