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Virgin Australia plans to add at least two and "maybe three" new international routes to its network over the next three years, according to airline CEO John Borghetti.
Speaking at the Tourism and Transport Forum Leadership Summit in Canberra yesterday, Borghetti promised that “you will see us fly to more international destinations over the next three years."
“Two (destinations), maybe three, certainly two" Borghetti confirmed, although he declined to name the routes.
Asia has long been favoured to see the next pin on Virgin's network map, with Singapore and Hong Kong the obvious front-runners.
Earlier this year, at a press briefing following Virgin Australia's 2013-2014 financial results, Borghetti confirmed that "at some point in the future we will be operating the (Airbus) A330 internationally."
Virgin's current international long-range Boeing 777 services are limited to Los Angeles (from Sydney and Brisbane) and Abu Dhabi (from Sydney), with the later being the hub of its partner and stakeholder Etihad Airways.
Closer to home are New Zealand, Bali, Phuket and the Pacific Islands, which are serviced by smaller short-range Boeing 737-800 jets.
Virgin recently took delivery of the last of six orders for the Airbus A330, while Borghetti revealed that he doesn't expect to see the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 join Virgin's fleet until sometime after 2020, three years beyond an earlier 2017 timeframe.
However, there's also the possibility of sharing a single 'bulk order' for either the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 with partners Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand.
"Could we, would we, talk to our three partners in terms of how we do this together? Within legal bounds, absolutely," Borghetti said.
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