Key Points:

  • Virgin Australia halts operations of two Boeing 737-800s after discovering they contained unauthorized parts supplied by AOG Technics.

  • The irregularities came to light following the detection of falsified certification documents for the aircraft components.

  • Immediate inspections lead to the replacement of parts in two aircraft, emphasizing the airline's focus on safety.

AOG Technics at the Center of Virgin Australia’s Recent Aircraft Inspections

SYDNEY — Virgin Australia has promptly ceased operations of two Boeing 737-800 aircraft, an essential part of its domestic fleet, amid concerns of unauthorized parts being installed. The decision was informed by falsified certification documents associated with components sourced from the UK-based supplier, AOG Technics. Virgin Australia became privy to the issue when alerted to the falsified credentials of the aircraft components, as initially disclosed by Bloomberg. The unauthorized parts had been installed in planes routinely servicing pivotal domestic routes, including the Melbourne-Sydney and Brisbane-Perth corridors.

AOG Technics, known for supplying engine components for widely-used commercial aircraft such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, is now under scrutiny after the revelation. This development has cast a shadow over the reputation of the company that provides crucial parts to power many commercial aircraft worldwide.

Upon receiving notification of the falsified documentation, Virgin Australia took swift action to rectify the issue, emphasizing that safety remains their utmost priority. A low-pressure turbine blade on one of the Boeing 737-800s, identified by the registration VH-VUT, was promptly replaced last week. Initially, it was assumed that this was an isolated case.

However, a subsequent inspection unearthed another unauthorized part in a different aircraft over the weekend. This second instance involved the discovery of an unauthorized seal on an inner high-pressure turbine nozzle on an aircraft bearing the registration VH-YFR. This aircraft is currently stationed in Brisbane, undergoing maintenance to have the unauthorized part removed.

A representative from Virgin voiced the company’s steadfast commitment to safety, reinforcing it as the airline's highest prerogative. The spokesperson confirmed that the necessary steps are being undertaken to uphold the safety standards, including the removal and replacement of the unauthorized components. This incident marks a moment of heightened vigilance for the airline as it maneuvers to swiftly and efficiently address the safety concern.