Virgin Australia to add 4 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes to service higher demand

(Reuters) – Virgin Australia said on Friday it will add four new Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft to its fleet to meet higher demand as the airline expects to hit pre-pandemic domestic capacity by mid-2022.

“We are on track to return to 100% of pre-COVID domestic capacity by June this year and expect to well exceed those levels by year’s end,” CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said.

The country’s second-biggest airline, which is now owned by U.S. private equity group Bain Capital, also saw high demand in the resources sector and in contract flying in Western Australia.The four new aircraft will take the airline’s fleet of 737 planes to 88 and enter service early next year. In 2020, Virgin Australia restructured its 737 MAX order to include more of the largest 737 MAX 10 variant and had pushed back on the smaller MAX 8.