Virgin Australia and Boeing will share the champagne this week as the airline takes delivery of its 100th Boeing 737.
It’s a milestone for Virgin Australia, which already has 70 of the latest 737-800 model in its fleet.
The tally to one hundred includes earlier 737-300 and -400 jets operated by the airline during its earlier years as Virgin Blue, with the 737 long enshrined as Virgin’s workhorse.
Virgin Australia isn’t alone on that score – the Boeing 737 is also the backbone of Qantas’ domestic fleet, with the Red Roo notching up its hundredth 737 last month.
And counting from the launch of the original 737-100 in 1967 – yes, almost 50 years ago – lets Boeing boast of the 737 as the world’s best-selling jet.
The single-aisle plane is also the basis for Boeing’s range of private business jets, two of which are operated by the RAAF as the VIP ride for the Prime Minister and other senior members of the Australian government, along with the Governor General and other local and visiting dignitaries.
The first local flight for Virgin Australia's centennial 737 will be on Monday August 5, when the jet will carry a group of 'first-time flyers' and their families from the Starlight Children's Foundation.
Virgin Australia has also signed on the dotted line for the Boeing’s new 737 MAX, designed as a next-gen replacement for the Boeing 737-800.
The 737 MAX won’t debut until 2017 but Boeing predicts it will deliver lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions as well as quieter engine technology to significantly reduce the jet’s noise footprint.
The airline has 23 of the 737 MAX 8 versions on order with the first delivery between 2019 and 2021.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.