5 July 2012:
Virgin Australia has ordered 23 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, plus four options, with the aircraft to be delivered during 2019 – 2021.
The airline has 57 737s in its fleet at the moment, and still has 47 737-800s on order, with a new aircraft delivered around once a month. The airline has decided to delay some 737-800 deliveries until after 2016. It will receive 31 Boeing 737-800s during 2013 – 2016.
Virgin Australia keeps its average fleet age relatively low (average 4.2 years old over the last year), by removing older aircraft and replacing them with new aircraft.
The eight remaining Boeing 737-700s will also leave Virgin’s fleet by the end of 2013.
The 737 MAX uses new CFM International Leap 1B engines which have chevron nacelles. It also has a more streamlined tailcone, split winglets, longer nosegear strut (with small fairing under the nose) and other improvements.