Virgin Blue signs major aircraft deal for up to 105 new B737s
Virgin Blue Group signed (01-Apr-2010) an agreement with Boeing, for up to 105 new B737 aircraft - the biggest aircraft order in Virgin Blue’s ten year history. The agreement includes 50 firm B737-800NG aircraft (with flexibility to convert to either B737-700 or B737-900), 25 additional firm delivery positions secured as options and 30 future purchase rights. Delivery is scheduled from Jun-2011 through to 2017 and delivery options negotiated will "provide important flexibility to manage movements in market conditions, to aggressively ensure market share is not eroded and to provide additional growth options at Virgin Blue’s discretion". The airline stated a significant percentage of the aircraft is intended for replacement of the existing narrowbody fleet, while the remainder will be deployed to new routes and to boost frequency where demand dictates. [more]
Virgin Blue: “Securing this agreement now places Virgin Blue in a strong position to prepare for steady future growth as domestic and short haul markets recover...Virgin Blue was fortunate to see the opportunity and be in a position to take advantage, of the downturn in the market as we did back in 2001, to secure long term future supply of aircraft on attractive commercial terms. Pricing cannot be disclosed but importantly net pricing is improved from 2001 levels, allowing for a lowering of the fleet’s cost base. We expect to finalise our funding arrangements for these aircraft shortly,” Brett Godfrey, CEO. Source: Virgin Blue, 01-Apr-2010.