Virgin Australia is due to take delivery of its first 737-Max in the last three months of 2019. The airline ordered the Max-8 but has refused – it says to keep its competitors guessing, to confirm it will stick with those, and admits it’s completely open to all four versions, easily able to find a role for all.
Virgin Australia is one of the few large airlines without a single wide body on order, so find itself stretched sometimes when deploying its A332’s on new routes. The only alternate downgrade is the 737-800. It’s conceivable that a Max-10 would make a better replacement.
The big market, if China continues to be where Virgin Australia directs ist A330 fleet to open new routes, is serving the crucial East-West Perth/Fremantle routes from the major cities, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, & Canberra, higher capacity seating 737-10’s make even more sense.
The airline has just a few months now to make up its mind, and says it has working groups determining what the airlines final need will be – my bet is on a split of 20 Max-8 and 20 Max-10 being the final decision.