Virgin Blue Holdings, Ltd., hasconfirmed that the Brisbane-based company has ordered six Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) jetliners, withoptions for six more, and will lease oneadditional 777-300ER. The new aircraftwill allow Virgin Blue to establish itsnew long-haul airline, providing servicefrom Australia to the United States andother destinations.
The order is valued at US$1.5 billionat list prices. Virgin Blue currentlyoperates an all-Boeing fleet of 53 Next-Generation 737s.
Virgin Blue earlier said that the newlong-haul operation would begin witha limited network initially focusing onthe US, using a business model similarto its current value-based operation.The airline noted that it already hasthe regulator approval process underway.