Virgin Australia Group (VAG) says it has secured four B737-8s with service entry set for February 2023. The quartet are in addition to the twenty-five B737-10s the firm still has on order from Boeing (BOE, Washington National) and which are also still due to arrive in 2023.

“We are on track to return to 100% of pre-COVID domestic capacity by June this year and expect to well exceed those levels by year’s end, and our resources sector and contract flying in Western Australia is in high demand. This investment in our fleet reflects the increased demand we are experiencing in all parts of Virgin Australia,” the carrier's CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said. “We have a younger average fleet age than other airlines operating in the Australian market and we are in a good position to phase out our older AL!100 aircraft for more fuel-efficient options."

Since its relaunch in November 2020, VAG has set in motion plans to grow its B737 fleet by over 50%, from 58 aircraft to 88. The group currently operates ten Fokker 100s via its Perth-based Virgin Australia Regional (VARA) subsidiary in Western Australia (WA), all of which will be gradually retired and replaced with B737-700s from the first quarter of 2023.

“Equipping our WA operation with more modern and efficient B737 aircraft positions us to grow and to better compete in the resources sector and contract flying market across Australia. It also enables Virgin Australia to improve fleet utilisation across the group," Hrdlicka said adding that VAG will also continue to operate Airbus A320 aircraft as part of its resources sector and contract flying operations.

“Existing F100 flight and cabin crew, VARA engineering, and support staff and corporate and operations functions will be progressively trained to operate and maintain a 737 NG fleet, both as F100 aircraft are retired and as the airline continues to grow its WA resources sector and contract flying business.”

In addition to its B737 fleet, Virgin Australia Group will also continue to operate Airbus A320 aircraft as part of its resources sector and contract flying operations.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane International) operates sixty B737-800s and two B737-700s (wet-leased from Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane International)) while in addition to the Fokker Aircraft, VARA operates seven A320-200s. Virgin Australia International (VA, Brisbane International), for which the entire fleet operates, employs a further fifteen in-house B737-800s.