On Saturday 19 February, Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-IJW was spotted making its first visit into Central Queensland after it was acquired by the airline from Singapore Airlines (SilkAir).
VH-IJW made its first visit to CQ operating from and back to Brisbane on the VOZ605/608 service to Mackay Airport.
As mentioned below, B737-800 was previously operated by SilkAir (now merged with Singapore Airlines) as 9M-MGH and was delivered to Virgin Australia in Brisbane in early December last year. After being promptly placed on the Australian Aircraft Register and VH-IJW, it completed a couple of visits to Townsville in both December and January this year where it was re-painted into the Virgin Australia livery. It is possible that between both visits to Townsville, it had a cabin re-fit(?)
Less than a week after it returned from its second trip to Townsville, VH-IJW finally entered service with Virgin Australia on Tuesday 8 February. It becomes the sixth former SilkAir B737-800 to enter service with the airline.
As mentioned below, Virgin Australia will take delivery of seven former SilkAir B737-800 aircraft. With SilkAir now merged with parent airline, Singapore Airlines, these aircraft were deemed surplus to requirements. SilkAir moved to dispose of the planes earlier this year. It is reported these aircraft are 9V-MGF, 9V-MGG, 9V-MGH, 9V-MGI, 9V-MGJ, 9V-MGP, and 9V-MGQ.
Of interest, also on Saturday 19 February, the seventh and final former SilkAir B737-800 9V-MGJ touched down at Brisbane after flying in from Singapore (Changi) as SIA8892. Reports suggest it will be placed on the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-IXJ.
All photos taken by 'AC' ©