Virgin Blue working to firm up order for 737s

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Virgin Blue management is in the USA presently negotiating an order for Boeing 737s but the carrier has dismissed suggestions it plans to also order Boeing 777s as part of the deal.

News reports from Australia, citing unnamed sources, have said that Virgin Blue is planning to order more Boeing 777s for its long-haul arm V Australia, as part of the 737 aircraft order.

A Virgin Blue spokeswoman tells ATI: "Virgin Blue has a small team presently meeting with Boeing [in the USA] to discuss a substantial order of 737s which was previously flagged publicly."

"There are no V Australia personnel in this team and Boeing 777s are not on the agenda."

"We have not expanded our Boeing 777-300ER order which has three remaining aircraft commitments," she adds.

The team visiting the USA includes Virgin Blue's CEO, Brett Godfrey, who in September disclosed that the airline plans to order 30-50 737s and have first deliveries start in 2011.

These aircraft will replace 737s coming off lease, he said.

Virgin Blue's long-haul arm V Australia started operations in February.

According to Innovata it has a fleet of four 777-300ERs. Besides the three remaining on order, V Australia has options on a further six aircraft which kick in from 2011 at the rate of two aircraft per year.