19 August 2014

Virgin Australia CEO: “the A350 is a very impressive aircraft. I have been pleasantly surprised”

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti joined the A350-900 visit to Sydney last week and he admitted that “the A350 is a very impressive aircraft”.

Virgin plans to replace and update their fleet of existing Boeing 777 and Airbus A330s beyond 2017.

“We’re talking about fleet composition beyond 2017. Admittedly we have to make a call soon, but we’ve still got a year or so up our sleeves. We don’t have to rush into this” Borghetti said in Feb/2013.

That year-or-so is now all but done, and orders for 787-9 and A350-900 are piling up, but Borghetti is intent on taking his time to make the right decision – and no doubt land the best discount against the list price. And a few sweet words for the A350 is no doubt going to help in that.

“We’ll take our time and make sure we make the right decision” Borghetti said.

“Our team’s been studying this very carefully, obviously, along with the Boeing aircraft, and from everything we’ve seen on paper certainly the A350’s an incredibly competitive aircraft” he said.

“Whether you’re looking at it from the operating statistics or the customer comfort, I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised. You really don’t think you’re in a tube; you think you’re in a room because you’ve got a flat roof and almost a flat side” he observed. “It’s very different to what was, of course, the original 350 design. This is outstanding, seriously ­outstanding.”

Based on the article “Virgin Australia warms to Airbus A350” published in Australian Business Traveller.

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