Australia's Virgin Blue looks to order at least 30 737s

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Australian low-cost carrier Virgin Blue is in talks with Boeing to order 30 to 50 narrowbodies to replace its older Boeing 737s.

Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey told journalists at a National Aviation Press Club luncheon in Sydney that it wants to replace a large number of its 737s from 2011 onwards when the leases expire.

"Now is the best time to do a deal," says Godfrey, adding that it wants to buy at least 30 and up to 50 narrowbodies.

"We are in the market because the market is right and we don't want to miss the opportunity."

He adds, negotiations with Boeing "are taking place now".

According to Flightglobal's ACAS database Virgin Blue operates 50 Boeing 737-700/800s in its fleet and 24 Boeing 737-800s on order.

Its 737-700/800s were generally built between 2001 and 2007 and many are on lease from CIT, GE Commercial Aviation Services and International Lease Finance (ILFC), says ACAS.