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Virgin Blue Lands $14 Million 777 Aircraft Simulator in NSW



Virgin Blue’s new international Airline, V Australia, will today officially commission Australia’s first Boeing 777 aircraft simulator, highlighting the airline’s commitment to investing in training infrastructure and setting up V Australia’s operational base in Sydney.


The simulator is a replica of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that V Australia will use to operate its long haul flights from December this year^ and will be used for training the airline’s newest high flyers. The first group of V Australia pilot recruits are currently undergoing ground school and preparing to make history in December when they take off with V Australia. The airline will initially operate trans-Pacific services and will explore other route and destination opportunities.


The simulator has been installed at CAE’s* Silverwater facility and is the first simulator to be installed at the centre and is also Australia’s first 777 aircraft simulator. V Australia will be the only Australian based airline to operate the globally popular 777 airliner.


Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey said, “For the first time in our eight year history, Virgin Blue has a crew training facility in New South Wales to complement our existing B737 and EMBRAER E-Jet training facilities in Brisbane and Melbourne. It’s a significant investment and one we are proud to be commissioning today as another step towards V Australia’s December take-off.”


He continued, “This means V Australia pilots will undergo world class training right here in Australia and while it is certainly more convenient for our airline and our pilots than having to fly to Singapore for simulator sessions, it has economic and business spin-off’s for V Australia’s operational base in New South Wales.”


“As Australia’s second largest airline, we are strongly committed to generating home-grown jobs, while at the same time steadfast in our commitment to ensure all our pilots have the best possible training using the best possible equipment and technology.”


V Australia has worked closely with CAE in getting the Simulator centre up and running. While the V Australia simulator is the first, there is space for a second simulator in the future.


“CAE has a long history with the Boeing 777 aircraft, including development of the prototype simulator for the 777 back in 1992” said Alan Johnson, Managing Director of CAE Australia. “We are delighted to deliver a high-fidelity full-flight simulator, and at the same time transform our headquarters facility into a new training centre for V Australia. We look forward to a long term business partnership with V Australia as they continue to grow and expand their operations.”


The 777 simulator will be fully utilised by V Australia pilots from now until December but will also be available in the future for commercial pilots from both Australia and overseas seeking an endorsement on the 777 aircraft type.


The V Australia simulator was today named “Jim’s Sim” in honour of popular Virgin Blue and V Australia team member, Jim Tully, who worked tirelessly on the project and has left behind a lasting legacy. Jim passed away late last year.


* CAE is a world leader in providing simulation and modelling technologies and integrated training solutions for the civil aviation industry around the globe.