Virgin Australia is in the process of “waking up” many of its planes that were grounded during COVID-19 in order to depart.
After being forced to block international and almost all domestic flights due to the pandemic, Virgin Australia is stepping up flights around Australia and is expected to operate flights to nearly 30 domestic destinations by the end of August.
This means bringing many of its passenger planes back to life after spending months parked in the ports of Sydney, Melbourne, Avalon and Brisbane.
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And it’s no small feat – Todd Chamberlain, veteran aeronautical engineer from Virgin Australia, said it was a painstaking process to check every plane before it could finally return to the skies.
“Each aircraft requires more than 350 hours of inspections and functional tests to ensure that everything goes as it should and to ensure the safety of these aircraft,” said Chamberlain.
“Virgin Australia’s engineering team is working hard to get these planes back into the sky, so people can get back on the plane.”
One of the planes that caught the attention of the engineering team is a Boeing 737 passenger plane that was emptied from its cabin seats and reused as cargo during the pandemic.
Now engineers are reinstalling its eight business class seats and 168 economy seats that have been removed to make room for freight.
“Since COVID-19 hit, we had to park the majority of our fleet of Boeing 737s, so we came up with some pretty dynamic ideas to keep the planes up in the air, and one of those ideas was to transport cargo extra, “said Chamberlain, a veteran of Virgin Australia. 20 years old, said.
Virgin Australia said it expects demand for domestic travel to continue to grow as the state
and territorial borders reopen.
A survey of airline customers found that about 73 percent wanted to book a holiday within three months of the lifting of the travel restrictions.
Virgin Australia waives all applicable change fees for bookings made by September 30, 2020, including unlimited changes to booking dates.