Hipsters rejoice: Qantas has unveilied its first ever “retro” inspired livery on one of its new Boeing 737s. The design is intended as a flying tribute to 70 years of the iconic flying kangaroo logo – or the ‘red roo’, as it is known affectionately.
Qantas Ambassador and aviation enthusiast, John Travolta was on hand to witness Qantas and Boeing unveil the aircraft at a special hangar event in Seattle, which is timed to mark the 70th anniversary of the kangaroo logo.
Group executive for brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth stated at the event, “For 70 years our logo has been a symbol of aviation innovation, but also a reminder that home is never far away. Qantas holds a special place in the Australian psyche, and we know for many of our customers this livery will inspire a fond trip down memory lane.
“It’s a bit of a time warp having a 1970s livery on one of our brand new B737 aircraft but it’s the perfect way to highlight the years of experience behind the contemporary airline Qantas is today,” Wirth added.
For Qantas ambassador John Travolta, the retro livery brought back memories. “It’s great to see a piece of Qantas history flying in the sky today,” he said. “I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences with Qantas over the years, from getting my B747 wings to having my own B707 painted in the original 1960s Qantas livery. This is a great celebration of the brand’s heritage and incredible reputation over the years.”
The signature element of the 1971-1984 livery design was the ochre band around the window line of the aircraft. Ochre reflected the colours of the outback where Qantas was established in 1920. The winged kangaroo logo is used on the tail and was adapted from the original 1947 version designed by Gert Sellheim. In 1984 the flying kangaroo discarded its wings, evolving to its current slender and stylized form.
With the exception of Qantas’ A380 fleet, which are named for Australian aviation pioneers, Qantas aircraft are traditionally named after Australian places. However, this special aircraft has been named James Strong, in memory of the airline’s former CEO (1993 to 2001), who was instrumental in the making of the modern Qantas, including the merger with Australian Airlines.
The 737 will operate across all Qantas domestic routes from November 20th, acting as a flying reminder of where Qantas has come from, as well as showing new generations of young Australians some of the history behind Australia’s biggest airline.
The livery is also timed to mark the Qantas’ 94th birthday, which also falls in November.