Just noticed on the news that Brett Godfrey has just
taken delivery in Seattle of the 1st NG737-700 a couple
of hours ago, also in the papers here in Aussie is what
the boss of Qantas said about Virgin Blue going to New Zealand:
The Qantas chief also dismissed suggestions that Virgin Blue would enter the New Zealand market, describing trans-Tasman routes as some of the biggest loss makers in the world.
"I want to tell you something: the sun will cease to set the day Virgin Blue flies the Tasman and flies in New Zealand," he said.
"These guys put out more press releases about what they're going to do. They will not fly New Zealand.
"Even they are not that stupid."
BRISBANE, Australia, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Australia's newest discount
carrier, Virgin Blue Airlines, today took delivery of the first Boeing
Next-Generation 737 jetliner destined for Australian domestic use.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/ 20001004/BOEINGLOGO )
During a ceremony in Seattle, Virgin Blue Chief Executive Officer
Brett Godfrey completed formalities to take delivery of the twinjet. The
airplane will be leased from International Lease Finance Corporation.
The airplane, a Next-Generation 737-700, is the first of
14 Next-Generation 737s Virgin Blue plans to fly on routes from its Brisbane
hub to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Townsville and other destinations. The
airline recently converted some options to the larger 737-800 to accommodate
Virgin Blue, an offshoot of Sir Richard Branson's inaugural Australian
aviation operation, took to the air with a Brisbane-Sydney service in August
last year. The airline currently operates a fleet of six Boeing 737-400s in
"We welcome these brand-new airplanes that will sharpen our competitive
edge in the Australian market," Godfrey said. "The increased capability of
these airplanes -- to fly farther, higher and faster -- improves our options
for introducing new Australian cities to our network."
Godfrey added that people are flying Virgin Blue, not only because of its
low fares but also for its unique style and service.
"This steady growth shows that while we continue to attract leisure
travelers, we are grabbing an increasing share of the business market," he
The 737 family is no stranger to the South Pacific. Airlines in this
region have ordered about 90 737s of various models.
"We're very pleased to see Virgin Blue introduce the Next Generation 737
to Australia," said Doug Groseclose, vice president International Sales,
Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Passenger and airline feedback from other parts
of the world on the Next-Generation 737 family has been very positive. These
aircraft draw many features from our class-winning Boeing 777, and there's no
doubt that passengers appreciate the enhancements."
The Next-Generation 737-700, which can fly up to 3,260 nautical miles
(6,037km) in a one-class configuration offering the lowest operating costs in
its class. It features an all-new, spacious Boeing 777-style interior and the
most advanced-design technology in the single-aisle market, such as an all-new
wing and updated liquid-crystal displays in the flight deck.
Building a quieter, more fuel-efficient airplane was a top priority for
Boeing engineers designing the Next-Generation 737 family. The new,
advanced-technology wing design on the models helps improve fuel efficiency.
The model's new CFM56-7 engines produced by CFMI, a joint venture of General
Electric Co. of the United States and SNECMA of France, meet community noise
restrictions well below current Stage 3 limits and below expected Stage 4
limits. Emissions also are reduced beyond required standards.
The 737 is the best selling commercial jetliner in history. To date, more
than 3,900 737s have been delivered to more than 200 customers.
Virgin Blue currently employs more than 580 team members including pilots,
cabin crew, pit crew, reservations staff, ground crew and office staff. With
the arrival of the Next-Generation jetliner, the airline's staff and fleet
will double in size over the next 12 months.