Saturday, October 7, 2017

Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPO Departs Australia For Good

On Friday 6 October, Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPO looked to have departed Australia for good, flying out of Brisbane for Apia (Tonga) as VOZ9901.  It has since continued to Honolulu (Hawaii) and is planned to continue to Van Nuys (California) and Nashville (Tennessee) in the coming days for post-lease maintenance.

VH-ZPO at Brisbane Airport in 2015  (File photo)

VH-ZPO is the latest in a long line of Virgin Australia E-190 jets that have been withdrawn from the fleet (for now) and be transferred to other operators or storage.  It follows VH-ZPD, VH-ZPF, VH-ZPE, VH-ZPG, VH-ZPJ, VH-ZPL, VH-ZPB, VH-ZPA, VH-ZPM, VH-ZPI ,VH-ZPC, VH-ZPQ, VH-ZPK, VH-ZPR and VH-ZPN which have all departed Australia since February 2016.

It's probably now easier to post that only two E-190s remain in the Virgin fleet - VH-ZPH and VH-ZPT.

VH-ZPO was ordered new by Virgin Blue in 2007.  It entered the Australian register in September 2009 and was leased to Virgin Blue as the registered operator.  It was delivered to the airline in Brisbane in November 2009 and entered service soon after in early December.  VH-ZPO was noted wearing the name 'Portia Macquarie'.

VH-ZPO at Brisbane Airport in 2010  (File photo)

VH-ZPO at Rockhampton Airport shortly before re-painting in 2013  (File photo)

With Virgin Blue being renamed and rebranded as Virgin Australia Airlines in May 2011, VH-ZPO was rolled out in 2013 in full Virgin Australia livery and looked to take up the name 'Boomerang Beach'.

VH-ZPO arrives into Brisbane Airport recently  (File photo)

Of interest, VH-ZPO was only withdrawn from service three days prior to its departure overseas.  It appears that its final flight into Central Queensland was back on Saturday 30 September when it operated in to Mackay Airport and back from Brisbane as VOZ605/608.

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

Sad to see them go!

Photo taken by 'IAD'  ©

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