Virgin Blue phases out E-170 fleet

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The Virgin Blue Holdings announced plans to phase out of its entire Embraer 170LR fleet in its current fiscal year ending 30 June 2011.

"Six Embraer 170s will leave the fleet during the fiscal year," says Virgin Blue Holdings in a statement.

The 170LR fleet was delivered to Virgin Blue over a 12-month period between September 2007 and September 2008. The fleet was financed through a 'plain vanilla' debt 10-year structure provided by a pool of banks including ING, Commerzbank and Dekabank, CAO understands.

The group will also return up to nine leased 737s during the 2011 fiscal year as it takes delivery of 14 new aircraft. These comprise eight Boeing 737-800s, three 190ARs, two Airbus A330-200s and one Boeing 777-300ER in November. The delivery of two other 777-300ERs, due in 2010, have been delayed to 2011 and 2012.

Virgin Blue currently operates 15 190ARs along with the six 170LRs.