Virgin Blue still working on Boeing aircraft deal

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Australia's Virgin Blue is still in talks with Boeing over a possible Boeing 737 aircraft purchase, and expects to finalise the deal this year.

The airline had previously expressed its interest to purchase 737s. Talks with the airframer are still ongoing, says Virgin Blue's CEO Brett Godfrey.

When asked, he says it would be "fair" to say that a deal might be decided this year.

"We have about 30 aircraft coming off their leases over the next three years, so if we don't buy new ones, we'd have to renegotiate the leases," he adds.

The airline has requested for deliveries to be between 2011 and 2014, says Godfrey.

The group's long-haul operation, V Australia, is due to receive its next Boeing 777 in November, but it is unlikely to start a new international route, he says.

"We are looking more at filling in the gaps," says Godfrey, who adds that flight frequencies to Johannesburg or Melbourne among others might be increased.