Friday, August 10, 2018

Tigerair (Tiger Airways Australia) Boeing B737-800 VH-VUD Pops into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport

Certainly a surprise arrival into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport on Friday 10 August with Tigerair (Tiger Airways Australia) operating Boeing B737-800 VH-VUD into the Whitsundays on their scheduled TGG394/397 service from and back to Sydney.

VH-VUD at Adelaide Airport recently  (File photo)

This is the first ever that I believe that one of the Tigerair’s three current 180-seat Boeing B737-800s has operated the flight with it usually flown by one of their 12 180-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.

Word around the Airport suggested that this change of equipment on Friday flights could occur for some weeks into the future.

Of interest – and I love this stuff! – VH-VUD has had an interesting history.  While it is currently flown by Tigerair within Australia, the aircraft is registered to their parent company, Virgin Australia Airlines where it has been with the airline for over a decade.

The aircraft was originally ordered new by Virgin Blue and rolled off the production line and was then registered as VH-VUD in October 2004.  After being delivered in November, in the full titles and colours of 'Pacific Blue' Airlines - Virgin Blue's New Zealand based subsidiary airline - and it was noted wearing the name ‘Bewitching Broome’.  VH-VUD entered service with Virgin Blue soon after. 

VH-VUD in Pacific Blue livery at Brisbane Airport in 2006  (File photo)

After three years, VH-VUD was withdrawn from Virgin blue service and ferried to Christchurch in New Zealand where it was then re-registered as ZK-PBG and leased to Pacific Blue.  It operated its first service with Pacific Blue in November 2007 on a New Zealand domestic flight and over the years it was a regular at Airports on the Eastern seaboard.

Now registered ZK-PBG at Brisbane Airport in 2008  (File photo)

After Pacific Blue was incorporated in the ‘Virgin Australia’ company name, ZK-PBG operated its final service with its New Zealand registration marking in March 2015.  It was then re-registered once again as VH-VUD and had the name ‘Tallows Beach’ applied.  VH-VUD then re-entered service with Virgin Australia and operated both domestic and international flights until October 2016 when it was once again withdrawn from service.

ZK-PBG on approach to Brisbane Airport in full Virgin Australia livery in 2014  (File photo)

VH-VUD parked at Brisbane Airport in 2016  (File photo)

VH-VUD 'Tallows Beach' on approach to Adelaide Airport  (File photo)

VH-VUD then flew to Townsville and was re-painted into the Tigerair livery by Flying Colours at Townsville following the announcement that Tigerair would be the low-cost off-shoot of Virgin Australia.

VH-VUD in full Tigerair livery at gate at Adelaide Airport  (File photo)

After a period of storage and crew training out of Melbourne (Tullamarine), VH-VUD finally entered domestic service with Tigerair in February 2017 and continues to operate on the Tigerair domestic network.

Photos taken by Tony Haynes  ©

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