SYDNEY Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. (VAH.AX) said Thursday it has ordered 23 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in a deal worth US$2.19 billion at list prices.
Australia's second-largest airline also said it has deferred delivery of some Boeing 737NG aircraft to beyond 2016 to give it flexibility to develop the right mix of narrow-body and wide-body aircraft.
A Virgin spokeswoman declined to provide a number for the delayed aircraft. The airline's statement said that 31 scheduled deliveries of Boeing 737-800 aircraft remained on track for 2013-2016.
Virgin could be paying less for the new planes because airlines often negotiate discounts to official list prices.
Virgin said the new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will begin flying between 2019 and 2021 and said it expects all of its older Boeing 737-700 aircraft to exit its fleet by the end of 2013.
Boeing developed the MAX series to replace its Next Generation family of planes. The new aircraft use less fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.
(Reporting By Jane Wardell; Editing by Matt Driskill)
(This story has been corrected to delete reference to May traffic record)