Virgin Australia took delivery of its 100th Boeing 737 aircraft with the arrival in Brisbane on 26 July 2013 of VH-YFR “Scamander Beach”, with the aircraft wearing a ‘100th Boeing 737’ decal.
VH-YFR departed Boeing Field on 24 July, flying to Lihue (Hawaii), Nadi (Fiji) and Brisbane.
On 5 August 2013, the aircraft flew from Brisbane to Sydney, where it operated a special celebratory flight (VA9561) from Sydney and back, taking 100 Starlight children and their families on the its first passenger flight.
Starlight Children’s Foundation is a charity which undertakes projects to brighten the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children. Virgin Australia crew and pilots volunteered their time for the special flight, with Boeing providing gift donations, Shell donating the fuel and Sydney Airport waiving the landing fee surcharges and providing free parking. The flight included a guest appearance from boy band The Collective, cockpit tours, bingo games, sing-a-long songs with crew and a special lunch designed by the airline’s head chef, Luke Mangan.
After the flight, YH-YFR returned to Brisbane and was due to enter service a few days later, initially flying on the Melbourne to Sydney route.