Virgin Australia has taken delivery of the airline’s first Boeing 737-8 aircraft which touched down on Australian soil last week.

Fresh from the Boeing factory in Seattle, the Boeing 737-8 aircraft marks a new milestone in the transformation of Virgin Australia with its fleet renewal programme well underway as the airline continues to work towards its net zero emissions target by 2050.

The aircraft is one of 33 fuel-efficient Boeing 737-8 and 737-10 aircraft Virgin Australia has on order, with more aircraft set to be delivered in the coming months.

With the arrival of the Boeing 737-8, Virgin Australia has also revealed its new Business Class and Economy cabin interior as well as confirming plans to refresh the interior cabins on the airline’s remaining Boeing fleet, as part of an investment of approximately $110 million to improve the flying experience for customers.

Boeing 737-8 cabin interior

Highlight features of the new Boeing 737-8 cabin interior include:

In-seat power for all Business Class and Economy seats.
Larger overhead lockers, with capacity to stow up to 50 per cent more carry-on baggage (individual guest carry-on luggage limits will not increase).
Wider Business Class seats which also feature leg rests with extendable footrests, storage compartments, tablet/device holders and water bottle holders.
A new Economy seat design, featuring a ribbed backing to elevate comfort and ergonomics.
A personal tablet/device holder for all Economy seats, making it easy to view Virgin Australia in-flight entertainment, movies and TV shows.

Interior refresh

The interior refresh and product upgrade across Virgin Australia’s remaining Boeing fleet will commence later this year, with the work set to be complete in the next two years, subject to operational requirements. The upgrade includes:

Installation of in-seat power for all Business Class and Economy seats.
Installation of new Business Class seats, consistent with the new Boeing 737-8 aircraft.
Installation of new or refreshed Economy seats, with seat design to be consistent with the new Boeing 737-8 aircraft.
Introduction of in-flight Wi-Fi and complimentary in-flight entertainment (via a guest’s own personal device) to majority of remaining fleet.
An entirely new seat configuration will also be rolled out through the introduction of a new design cabin divider between Business Class and Economy. The new divider will allow for greater floor space in the Economy cabin and the subsequent installation of between six and 12 additional Economy seats. The refurbishment will also include the replacement of one Economy X row with Economy seating on all Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Once the cabin refresh program is complete, the unified in-flight offering will deliver more seats for travellers and a consistent guest experience across all flights operated by Virgin Australia Boeing 737 aircraft.

Fuel-efficient aircraft

Virgin Australia Group CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka said she was excited to welcome the Boeing 737-8 aircraft into the fleet.

“It is wonderful to be here celebrating the arrival of our new fuel-efficient aircraft with the wider Virgin Australia family,” said Ms Hrdlicka.

“Our people are the special sauce at Virgin Australia, and we are thrilled to be giving them and their families the first look at this aircraft and its new interior. It is hard not to feel excited and inspired when you are in a hangar with a new aircraft, and maybe today we will inspire the next generation of Virgin Australia employees, with so many of our team members’ kids in the room.

“Today is also an important milestone for Virgin Australia as we grow and renew our fleet and continue investing in our onboard guest experience.

“Sustainability is so important for the future of the airline industry globally and fleet renewal is a major step in reducing carbon emissions intensity,” she said.
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