Virgin Australia mulls 'bulk order' for Airbus A350, Boeing 787

By David Flynn, September 2 2014

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti says he would consider placing a shared order for either the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 with partners Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand.

This 'bulk buy' would enable Virgin to move ahead with a decision on its future fleet beyond 2017 while delivering lower prices for what would on its own be a relatively small order.

Speaking at the media Q&A session following last Friday's release of the airline's 2014 financial report, Borghetti appeared to embrace the notion of a joint purchase of aircraft with Virgin Australia's airline stakeholders.

"Could we, would we, talk to our three partners in terms of how we do this together? Within legal bounds, absolutely," Borghetti said.

But any decision on the next-gen jetliners is still some time away, and Borghetti isn't about to pick favourites.

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti (left) and Airbus sales exec Isabelle Floret (right) on the A350. Airbus
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti (left) and Airbus sales exec Isabelle Floret (right) on the A350
Airbus

"The A350 and Boeing 787 are both excellent aircraft" Borghetti said.

"I recently had the pleasure of seeing the A350 and was stunned from a consumer aspect" he commented on last month's visit of the Airbus A350 during its world tour, of which Borghetti said the A350 was "a very impressive aircraft" with a "seriously ­outstanding" design, "but I'm equally confident that the 787 is good."

"The important thing is that we dont have to rush into this" Borghetti said.

"What we do have to rush into is narrow-body, so we brought the Boeing 737 MAX foward in order to extract the fuel benefits from it."

Virgin Australia expects to take delivery of the first of 23 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft from 2018, one year ahead of the previous schedule.

Virgin Australia will get its first Boeing 737 MAX in 2018
Virgin Australia will get its first Boeing 737 MAX in 2018

Boeing predicts the 737 MAX will deliver lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions that are some 13 percent lower compared to "today's most fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft."

New high-efficiency engines and refined aerodynamics – including split wingtip designs – are at the core of the 737 MAX's fuel friendly nature.

Virgin Australia's current domestic fleet, like that of Qantas, is dominated by the Boeing 737-800.

The Airbus A320neo, which will compete against the 737 MAX, will take its maiden flight this month and has already snared local orders from Air New Zealand – which will fly the A320neo and A321neo on trans-Tasman routes – and Qantas' low cost offshoot Jetstar.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Perhaps he should consider buying in bulk with QF group, it would be more within "legal bounds". 

next stop dunny amenities ! Local ALDI does a good deal I was told ;)

S
S

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 105

"What we do have to rush into is narrow-body, so we brought the Boeing 787 MAX foward in order to extract the fuel benefits from it."

There's a 787 MAX?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 566

This makes perfect sense.  VA would be a fool not to try to use the buying power of its shareholders (particularly EY or SQ) to extract a good deal.  Both airlines have ordered both the 787 and A350 so baseline pricing is established.  

I think the 789 is probably the better sized of the 2 options for VA's requirements currently particularly as it could replace both the 77W and the A330s but a good deal from Airbus would also mean the A350 is a great option.  

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2012

Total posts 43

I think the 789 is the perfect aircraft for VA, right in the sweet spot size wise IMO.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Jun 2013

Total posts 26

Having flown in ANZ's 789 last weekend , I thoroughly agree. great a/c & really could see this in the VA fleet 

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

27 Feb 2017

Total posts 3

If it's really like he said that the delivery would be 2020 plus then why not skip all these and go straight to 777X? Given that the traffic is growing after all,  LAX, AUH, HKG, PEK they all will have the demand for 777X capacity by the time.

Wonder how long he is going to take to make up his mind as wouldn't the orders books for the A350 and the B787 be filling up??

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

I'm gonna suggest that John Borghetti has a more insight into the A350 and B787 order books than any of us, so he's obviously not too worried about them filling up.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 296

Why isn't this guy the CEO Qantas, another great idea

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

Because Alan Joyce got that job, and JB decided to go somewhere he was wanted. In the annals of commercial airline history, that decision will go down as being as silly as New Coke was in the  soft drinks industry.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Platinum

29 Aug 2014

Total posts 38

I wish VA sticks with the Boeing Family.. B738 and B789


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