Bowen Hills - Virgin Australia has delayed the deliveries of its Boeing 737 MAX 8s due to ongoing uncertainty and safety concerns surrounding the aircraft.
Virgin Australia has postponed the delivery of the first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to 2025. The airline has 48 Boeing 737 MAX 8 in its order book with Boeing.
Virgin has also announced that it converted 15 of its MAX 8s on order to MAX 10s, with the first deliveries delayed from November this year to July 2021.
Thus, the airline will take delivery of 33 Boeing 737 MAX 8 in total from 2025.
Boeing's 737 MAXs have been grounded globally since March after two deadly crashes in which the MAX 8 variant of the series involved.
“Safety is always the number one priority for Virgin Australia. As we have previously stated, we will not introduce any new aircraft to the fleet unless we are completely satisfied with its safety. We are confident in Boeing’s commitment to returning the 737 MAX to service safely and as a long-term partner of Boeing, we will be working with them through this process," Paul Scurrah, the new chief executive of Virgin Australia said in a statement.
Preliminary investigations for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes of Indonesia's Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines have pointed to a new anti-stall software of the aircraft known as MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System).
Investigators believe the MCAS system caused uncontrollable nosedives on both flights due to erroneous data from one of the AOA (Angle of Attack) sensors.
Boeing has fixed the software and submitted it to the FAA for review. If approved, the MAX series jets of the American manufacturer are expected to return to service in early July.