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8 December, 2020

Retired Virgin planes call Mareeba home

THE Mareeba Airport has had its new upgrades put to good use after six decommissioned Virgin Australia branded ATR aircraft have temporarily made the airport their home.

By Rhys Thomas

DECOMMISSIONED:One of the decommissioned Virgin branded ATR aircraft that is temporarily making the Mareeba Airport its home. CREDIT: R Rudd Photos

THE Mareeba Airport has had its new upgrades put to good use after six decommissioned Virgin Australia branded ATR aircraft have temporarily made the airport their home. 

Although branded as Virgin, the ATR model of aircraft was removed from Virgin’s active fleet in August of 2020, as a part of their plan to simplify their fleet. 

The planes were then returned to the registration holder who originally leased the planes to Virgin. 

Aviation Airframe Holding, a private limited company from Singapore is the registration holders and is currently storing six of the ATR aircraft at the Mareeba Airport. 

In August, Virgin Australia said it would remove the ATR aircraft type from its fleet.

It’s understood the aircraft stored at Mareeba have been returned to their registered owners and will remain painted in Virgin livery until such time they find a new home.

Eight ATR aircraft were decommissioned by Virgin, six are being stored at the Mareeba Airport and the location of the remaining two is unknown. 

A spokesperson from Mareeba Shire Council has said that the planes are being temporarily stored until the registration holders decide what to do with them. 

“Council has approved parking for six aircraft and are working with the company to potentially accommodate more, this is being done without impacting operations and safety,” they said. 

“The aircraft parked at Mareeba Airport are there for short-term storage. 

“It is important to note that Council probably couldn’t have accommodated these aircraft prior to the Airport Upgrade and Council is pleased to see Airport being utilised.” 

The Express Newspaper was unable to contact Aviation Airframe Holding for comment.


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