Friday, 8 July 2016

Tigerair Australia to replace all of its A320s with 737s

Virgin Australia’s plan to simplify its fleet moved forward today with confirmation that all of the Tigerair Australia branded A320s would be ‘transitioned’ to 737-700s or -800s within three years.
It was also foreshadowed earlier this year when Virgin Australia Holdings (which owns all of the Tigerair Australia franchise) announced that all of the main airline’s Embraer E-190s and some of its ATR turbo props would also leave the group’s combined fleets within that time frame.
Virgin Australia is pursuing a fleet simplification program that will see it equipped with only one type of wide body jet (whether from Airbus or Boeing) toward the start of the next decade, as well as having a common fleet of Boeing 737 single aisle jets for the balance of the jet operations by its brand and those of Tigerair.
There are currently 14 A320s in service with Tigerair. They are augmented by three 737-800s from the Virgin Australia fleet of  78 single aisle Boeings which the low cost carrier uses for some flights to Denpasar.
That 737 fleet includes two of the smaller capacity 737-700s.
Virgin Australia has an order for 40 of the new engine technology Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets.
However none of those new 737 MAXs will go to Tigerair, which will have all of its A320s replaced by older 737s now in the Virgin Australia fleet.
It isn’t clear at this stage if this process of renewal of the Virgin 737 fleet, and the replacement of Tiger A320s by retired or transferred Virgin 737s will see a tightening of capacity by Virgin Australia. It seems to depend on the delivery and replacements schedules of the two VAH brands, but the guidance from Virgin, as well as Qantas, has so far been in favour of continued tightening of capacity to match a downturn in demand attributed to a softer and less confident national economy.
In that respect, VAH has engineered a useful tool for fine tuning capacity adjustments for its full service carrier, but it doesn’t seem to provide for any substantial growth in demand for the low cost brand other than an implied focus on lifting load factors.

Story sourced from here

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