Saturday, February 12, 2022

Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-IWY (ex 9V-MGQ) First Visit to CQ at Hamilton Island Airport

On Saturday 12 February, Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800 VH-IWY was photographed making its first visit into Central Queensland after it was acquired by the airline from Singapore Airlines (SilkAir).

VH-IWY made its first visit to CQ operating from and back to Sydney on the VOZ1281/2 service to Hamilton Island Airport.

As mentioned below, B737-800 was previously operated by SilkAir (now merged with Singapore Airlines) as 9M-MGQ and was delivered to Virgin Australia in Brisbane at the end of December last year.  After being promptly placed on the Australian Aircraft Register and VH-IWY, it spent a fortnight at Townsville during January this year where it was re-painted into the Virgin Australia livery.

VH-IWY entered service with Virgin Australia on Wednesday 2 February.  It becomes the fifth former SilkAir B737-800 to enter service with the airline.

Also on Saturday 12 February, new(ish) Virgin Australia (and ex-SilkAir) Boeing B737-800 VH-IWQ (ex 9V-MGI) was also spotted visiting Hamilton Island Airport.  It was a diversion while flying from Cairns to Brisbane as VOZ784.

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, VH-IJW (ex 9V-MGH) which was delivered to Virgin Australia in early December, has made two visits to Townville for re-painting (and during the in-between period, perhaps a cabin re-fit) and also has entered service but on Tuesday 8 February.  It is yet to visit Central Queensland.

UPDATE!  On Saturday 19 February, VH-IJW made its first visit to Central Queensland at Mackay Airport, operating the VOZ605/608 service from and back to Brisbane.

All photos taken by 'AC'  ©

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