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Stored Virgin Australia 737 all taped up with no place to go?

written by australianaviation.com.au | July 16, 2015

Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-VUM at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. (Victor Pody)
Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-VUM at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. (Victor Pody)

A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 has been sitting at Melbourne Tullamarine with its engines and landing gear covered up, windows blacked out and doors taped for the past 10 weeks.

The aircraft, VH-VUM, last flew on May 2, when it was ferried from Christchurch to Melbourne as VA9949.

Sister-ship VH-VUN has also spent considerable time on the ground at Melbourne Airport. The 737 was ferried to Tullamarine on May 8 and did not fly again until June 30, when it was went to Christchurch as VA9948 before returning to Melbourne on July 4.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson declined to offer any explanation for the aircraft being idle for the past 10 weeks.

But the airline was expected to give a fleet update at its 2014/15 full year financial results in August.


According to the Aussie Airliners’ website, VH-VUM was delivered to then Virgin Blue in 2007 on lease from CIT Leasing Corporation. It was involved in a 2012 incident where the aircraft flew untracked for 27 minutes between Sydney and Brisbane after air traffic control incorrectly thought the flight was headed for Newcastle.

Virgin still has 16 factory fresh 737-800s on order from Boeing, according to the manufacturer’s website, in addition to 23 737 MAXs expected to arrive from 2018.

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Comments (7)

  • Qing Gü


    I beleive a few Virgin 737s are being sold off to make way for the new ones to be deliverd.

  • Ben


    These are aircraft are leased.

    They are due to be returned to their lessors

  • Chris


    Must be a slow news day…

  • D


    These will be converted to freight plans.

  • Freddie


    Business must be slow. An aircraft deteriorates very fast whilst sitting idle. Engineering start up requires a lot more time and costs.

  • Paul


    Airlines park planes to reduce capacity when they are taking yield…profit. Numbers for shareholders also look better with higher $/ASK….

  • Shane


    There been rumours Virgin going into freight and want as convert some of there old 737 to freighters so maybe Virgin doing the same.

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