Friday, August 18, 2017

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

On Monday 14 August, Virgin Australia Embraer E-190 VH-ZPN looked to have departed Australia for good, flying out of Brisbane for Apia (Tonga) as VOZ9901.  It has since continued to Honolulu (Hawaii), Van Nuys (California) and Nashville (Tennessee) for post-lease maintenance.  Its departure from Australia comes just 10 days after fellow E-190 VH-ZPR also departed for Nashville - see Blog Post HERE.

VH-ZPN arrives into Rockhampton Airport  (File photo)

VH-ZPN is the latest in a long line of Virgin Australia E-190 jets that have been withdrawn from the fleet (for now) and be transferred to other operators or storage.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 and VH-ZPR which have all departed Australia since February 2016.

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

VH-ZPN was the last of three additional aircraft ordered new by Virgin Blue in February 2007.  It entered the Australian register and was delivered to the airline in Brisbane in August 2009.

VH-ZPN in Pacific Blue colours at Gladstone Airport in 2012  (File photo)

Despite being registered to and operating for Virgin Blue, VH-ZPN wore the full titles and colours of Pacific Blue Airlines - Virgin Blue's New Zealand-based subsidiary.  VH-ZPN also wore the name 'Kanga Blue'.

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

VH-ZPN at Brisbane in 2013 soon after repainting  (File photo)

Of interest, VH-ZPN was only withdrawn from service two days prior to its departure overseas.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

VH-ZPN arrives into Mackay Airport last year  (File photo)

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' and Brendan Berry  ©

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