Virgin looks to swap MAX 10 order for MAX 8s amid Boeing delays: Reports

Virgin looks to swap MAX 10 order for MAX 8s amid Boeing delays: Reports

Reports have emerged that Virgin Australia is looking at alternative options for its delayed order of 25 Boeing 737 MAX 10s as the manufacturer struggles with supply chain issues and audits.

The Australian Financial Review reported that Virgin is assessing plans to opt for the smaller 737 MAX 8 model instead of the MAX 10. The MAX 10 seats 205 passengers while the MAX 8 accommodates 180 travellers, but it can fly further.

A Virgin spokesperson told Travel Weekly that there were delays but didn’t specifically mention the option to switch planes.

“We have been advised by Boeing there will be a delay to the delivery of some 737 MAX-8 aircraft and we are working to minimise impacts to our schedule,” the spokesperson said.

Virgin Australia has currently taken delivery of four MAX 8s, with a further 10 in the pipeline. The most recent delivery was on 13 March and the airline expects to take delivery of a further four MAX 8s this year, with the remaining six to be delivered from early 2025.

In the longer term, Virgin said it expects to take delivery of up to 25 MAX 10s from FY26.

The delays are associated with increased production timeframes at Boeing, across various aircraft types.

Boeing’s manufacturing delays come after the door plug on an Alaska Airlines MAX 9 blew off mid-flight at the start of the year. The plane was quickly grounded and underwent checks in the United States, while it was revealed that travellers were avoiding flying with the aircraft, according to Kayak.

The drama has caused Boeing’s share price to drop by nearly 25 per cent since the start of the year.

Featured Image: Virgin Australia 737-8 

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