Virgin Australia’s regional unit has disclosed its intention to acquire “at least four new generation aircraft” to replace its aging fleet of Fokker 100s. 

Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) says it has begun a consultation process for the procurement of new aircraft, but stops short of stating which types it is considering. 


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Virgin Australia Regional Airlines has four F100s in its fleet.

“The potential replacement aircraft types would provide superior performance compared to the F100, lower fuel consumption and emissions through the employment of geared turbofan engines, enhanced customer product and improved operational performance,” states the Perth-headquartered carrier. 

Media reports, citing an internal employee memo, suggest the airline is looking at Airbus A220-100s or Embraer 190-E2s. 

VARA has an operating fleet of four F100s, which are between 30 and 32 years old and were delivered to the carrier in 2013. It also operates a small fleet of A320ceos. 

The disclosure comes as VARA looks to diversify operations by growing its charter business in Western Australia. 

The new aircraft would likely be based in Western Australia for resources charter operations, the airline states. 

Separately, Australian charter operator National Jet Express (NJE) has expanded its fleet with delivery of its seventh E190 and ninth De Havilland Canada Dash 8-400. 

The airline’s interim operations chief Robin Furber states: “NJE’s fleet expansion underscores our commitment to servicing the ever-growing demand of the resource sectors for a reliable carrier with modern and fuel-efficient aircraft.”