Virgin Australia Boeing 737-8FE-VH-YIV. Photo: Virgin Australia

MIAMI – After entering into voluntary administration in April of this year, Virgin Australia (VA) has announced its plans for restructuring and how it will operate post-administration. The plan focuses on six key points, each specific to a different facet of the company.

Mainly, the airline will be simplifying everything as much as possible. Moving to a single type fleet with the Boeing 737, discontinuing the Tigerair brand, and suspending long haul flying are three of the biggest changes moving forward.

Two Virgin Australia Boeing 737s; the carrier’s sole fleet type moving forward. Photo: Mitch Coad

Simplifying the Fleet

One of the biggest goals for VA moving forward is to streamline the fleet into one aircraft type. Doing this will adjust their costs to better fit the uncertain revenue levels due to decreased travel demand, allowing the carrier to reestablish itself as a successful one.

The airline will be moving to an all Boeing 737 fleet, removing the Boeing 777, Airbus A330, and ATR 72. VA has suspended long-haul flying, rather than terminating it. It plans to resume and grow its long haul network when sufficient demand returns.

Additionally, VA has discontinued the Tigerair brand, retaining its air operator certificate. This will allow VA to potentially resume this operation in the future when demand returns.

Boeing 737 of Tigerair Australia. The low cost brand has been discontinued in the simplification efforts. Photo: Mitch Coad

Focusing on Customer Value

VA stated that they want to be the best value airline in the market, not a low-cost carrier. The airline will cater to all kinds of travel, from business to leisure. VA also made a point to ensure that it will maintain a two-class cabin product.

Additionally, the airline will keep its network of lounges in key airports. These will reopen when traveler numbers have grown sufficiently to support them.

The current reduced route network consists of 28 destinations within Australia, and will continue to add routes and frequencies as demand returns.

Virgin Australia Airbus A330-200, which has been removed from the fleet due to the suspension of long haul flying. Photo: Mitch Coad

Jobs and Future Growth

As a result of the changes being made to the airline, roughly 3,000 jobs will unfortunately be affected. Primarily those will be in operational functions and corporate roles directly related to operations.

Virgin Australia is making an effort to retain as many jobs as possible. Making these changes now will secure 6,000 to 8,000 jobs in the future once the travel market recovers post-pandemic.

The Virgin Australia Group CEO and Managing Director Paul Scurrah said in a statement “Our people have shown incredible resilience under tough circumstances. They are what set the Virgin Australia Group apart and make us so unique. We hope to welcome many of them back as we start to grow again in the future.”

Working with Bain Capital, Virgin Australia is in a good position to come out of this downturn strong. To read further into the plans moving forward, the official press release can be found here.

Featured image: Virgin Australia Boeing 737-8FE-VH-YIV. Photo: Virgin Australia.