Virgin Australia is reportedly in discussions with lessors to expand its fleet by 8 or 9 Boeing 737-800s in a bid to add capacity to the airline’s domestic network. The airline predicts the Australian domestic market is set to rapidly return as Australians look to travel domestically with international borders closed.
Last year, Virgin shed a number of aircraft from its fleet following its bankruptcy in April 2020. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline had 84 aircraft made up of a mix of narrow and widebody aircraft. Its fleet now sits at 54 narrowbody aircraft following Virgin’s restructuring
Jayne Hrdlicka, Virgin’s CEO, has said a lease deal is close to being completed, optimistically saying
We are committing to more aircraft and we are just really positive about the outlook,”
Competition in the Australian domestic market is set to heat up following the arrival of REX on routes between Australia’s capital cities. Recently, Qantas announced its intention to capture more of the market following Virgin’s downsizing. Qantas’ low-cost carrier Jetstar is also moving aircraft from its Asian subsidiary to Australia to help keep up with a surge in demand.