Monday, September 11, 2017

Virgin Australia ATR 72-500 VH-FVM Departs Australia for Good

On Monday 11 September, Virgin Australia ATR 72-500 VH-FVM looked to depart Australia for good, departing Brisbane for Nelson Airport on New Zealand as VOZ9948.

VH-FVM taxis in at Moranbah Airport in 2013  (File photo)

VH-FVM is now the third Virgin Australia ATR 72-500 to leave Australia and joins VH-FVH and VH-FVL at Nelson with all three aircraft noted to be now stored and awaiting sale.

As previously mentioned, Virgin Australia plans to consolidate its turboprop operations to routes within the ACT, New South Wales and Victoria as it prepares to reduce the number of ATRs in the fleet from 14 to six.  As a result, the airline will end ATR 72 turboprop operations in Queensland.

VH-FVM was the last of four ATR 72 aircraft ordered by Virgin Australia in 2011.  It was registered to and operated by Skywest Airlines (Western Australia) on behalf of Virgin Australia.  VH-FVM touched down at Perth on delivery in early December 2011 and it was noted wearing the name 'Woolamai Beach'.

VH-FVM departs Brisbane Airport in 2011  (File photo)

Soon after its arrival into Perth, VH-FVM ferried across to Brisbane before operating its first ever service to and from Gladstone Airport as DJ1709/1712 on Wednesday 21 December 2011.

In May 2013, Skywest Airlines was officially renamed Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) and now the ATR fleet are registered and operated by Virgin Australia.

VH-FVM taxis out early at Rockhampton Airport in 2014  (File photo)

Of interest, the final revenue service for VH-FVM was to and from Moranbah Airport on Sunday 10 September.  Over the previous couple of days, it appears to have also completed flights from Brisbane to Moranbah.

VH-FVM parked at Moranbah Airport in 2013  (File photo)

The decision to reduce Virgin’s ATR fleet, as well as its Embraer E190 regional jet fleet, was first announced in June 2016.

Sad to see them go!

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