Virgin Australia has reduced its order for 38 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to 23 and deferred delivery of the remainder, saying safety is its No.1 priority.
The carrier says it has also postponed delivery of its first Max 8 – the type of aircraft involved in last month’s Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people – from November this year to February 2025.
Virgin Australia has instead upped its order for 10 737 Max 10s to 25, with the first of the craft arriving in June 2021 rather than January 2022 as previously planned.
“As we have previously stated, we will not introduce any new aircraft to the fleet unless we are completely satisfied with its safety,” Virgin Australia Group chief executive officer Paul Scurrah said.
“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.”
Mr Scurrah said the new timetable would bring “a number of positive commercial benefits” for the company, including a deferral of capital expenditure.
At 1047 AEST, Virgin Australia shares were 0.25 cents, or 1.35 per cent, lower at 18.25 cents.