Virgin Australia is evaluating the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 as potential replacements for its Airbus A330-300s and Boeing 777-300ERs.

Chief executive John Borghetti told reporters during a recent briefing that the airline is in the process of evaluating both widebody types, and said that it "could be making a decision in the next 6-12 months."

He notes, however, that as the carrier's widebody fleet is relatively young, there is no great urgency to make a decision.

"We want to make a considered decision, the right decision for our route network," says Borghetti, adding that "they are both good aircraft."

Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database shows that Virgin's six A330s have an average age of five years, while the five 777s average out at four years. The A330s are all on leases, while the airline owns four of the five 777s.

Virgin uses its A330s on domestic services, primarily on trans-continental flights, while the 777s are used on long-haul flights to Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi.

Rival carrier Qantas is yet to decide on when it may firm up options for the 50 787-9s that are available for delivery from 2016 onwards. The carrier has previously said that it intends to use the 787s to expand its network in Asia, subject to its international business becoming profitable in 2015.

Last year, Virgin ordered 23 Boeing 737 Max 8s and deferred delivery of some of its existing 737-800 orders. The first Maxes are due for delivery in 2019.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news