Virgin Australia tried to grab Qantas' cancelled Boeing 787 order

Virgin Australia tried to grab Qantas' cancelled Boeing 787 order

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."

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David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

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.


  • jaydenwebster


    30 Jul, 2012 08:23 pm

    They should choose the 787!

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  • Darren


    30 Jul, 2012 11:02 pm

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

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  • nicholas bulley


    7 Jun, 2013 08:03 pm

    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

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  • aero-seat


    31 Jul, 2012 05:09 pm

    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

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  • Al Glidden


    31 Jul, 2012 06:06 pm

    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?

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  • AusFlyer


    1 Aug, 2012 02:02 pm

    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...

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  • Darren


    28 Aug, 2012 01:11 pm

    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.

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  • elemist


    29 Aug, 2012 10:27 am

    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

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  • Norman Dunstan


    3 Aug, 2012 03:29 pm

    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.

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  • Ben


    23 Aug, 2012 01:38 pm

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

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  • bmk


    31 Aug, 2012 03:02 pm

    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

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  • Al Glidden


    31 Aug, 2012 03:18 pm

    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.

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21 Jan, 2018 05:51 pm


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