back to all news

Virgin Australia tried to grab Qantas' cancelled Boeing 787 order

By David Flynn     Filed under: Boeing 787, Airbus A350, Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia expects to order either the Boeing 787 Dreamliner or Airbus A350 within 12 months, as the airline’s fleet for post-2017 takes shape.

“The 787 and A350 are both in the mix” says Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti. “They’re clearly the next generation of aircraft… it’s fair to say that sometime within the next 12 months we’d like to make a call.”

However, that decision could have come much sooner, with Borghetti revealing he was quick off the mark to contact Boeing last week when Qantas announced it was cancelling its order for 35 Dreamliners.

''As soon as we heard that [from Qantas], we did ring Boeing to see whether or not we could get our hands on some of them … but unfortunately, when we spoke to them those slots had been taken,'' he tells The Sydney Morning Herald. ''We were pretty quick but not quick enough, obviously."

Be it the 787 or A350, whichever of the two next-gen jetliners gets the nod, Borghetti says he is “looking primarily at long haul” for their deployment.

"We’ve got the 777s which will need to be replaced as well, so it's a holistic view of our long-haul and medium-haul operations."

For the latest business traveller and frequent flyer news, follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter at @AusBT.


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.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 30/7/12 by jaydenwebster

They should choose the 787!

1 on 30/7/12 by Darren

Yeah but with such a large order book, what is the wait time for this type of aircraft if you were only ordering now?

1 on 7/6/13 by nicholas

I Agree,

the A350-1000 in 3 classes it holds 350 passengers which is very good to replace the A330 and the 787-900 holds 280 passengers in three class

2 on 31/7/12 by aero-seat

I asked the question about a month ago about new aircraft for the Virgin Australia fleet ( and look at what has happened now. I think Virgin Australia will turn to the A350 due to the long wait of the Dreamliner

1 on 31/7/12 by Al

Aero-seat, the Dreamliner is pretty much back on schedule and it's now a real aircraft, what makes you think the A350 is going to suddenly be rolling out of the factory on time when this is the first time Airbus has had to make a composite? Why won't they suffer the same potential delays as Boeing did  years ago when it came time to get the 787 off the drawing board and into the air and then ito commercial service?

1 on 1/8/12 by AusFlyer

Completely agree with you. It is unlikely that the A350 will be right on schedule. At least with the 787 it will be well and truly and tried and tested aircraft by then with any issues ironed out.

Anyway... who's to say that there isn't already a waiting list for the A350...

2 on 28/8/12 by Darren

But isn't the A350 EIS late 2013/early 2014? If VA are talking about 2017 and onwards that is a pretty big buffer.  I am also sure that Airbus have learnt a lot of lessons from the B787 fiasco even if Boeing were no divulging all the issues.

3 on 29/8/12 by elemist

Since Boeing and it's suppliers have already done the hard yards developing the technology it shouldn't be too delayed!

I'm sure they are using their own technologies etc, but still the idea is proven, approvals have already been given etc

3 on 3/8/12 by Norman

A 787 in JETSTAR OR QANTAS colour IM thinking.  Unicorn a mythical creature that is a figment of peoples imagination. Could there be anymore delays if they tried im hopeing QANTAS is getting a shed load of compo.???? Could boeing have stuffed up its roll out anymore if tried.

4 on 23/8/12 by Ben

It would seem a few 9's just became available...

5 on 31/8/12 by bmk

We are off next week with QF to London via Dallas and AA in old B 777/200. The QF is a revamped OLD B74 with yet another new interior but its still an old aircraft.  Joyce complains about fuel costs, should have converted to B777 years ago, Singapore have ditched all their 747 for B777 and the A380, B777 returns around 22% fuel saving with similar load capacities.I only use QF because of the FF points

Unable to get get FF business class seats out of LAX to Melbourne QF quoted $7000.00 per seat, Singapore quoted $7200.00 for 2 seats Business so returning via Singapore then points home with QF.,QF always make travelling a chore instead of trying to smile and assist their customers

1 on 31/8/12 by Al

Very true BMK, I see that again and again when I am shopping around for airfares. QF economy will be premium economy on another airline, or QF PE will be business with somebody else. They don't do themselves any favours.


Related News Items


Australian business traveller newsletter

Get Updates as they happen, tailored to your preferences, right in your inbox


What topics interest you?