Qantas Abandon Iconic Red Livery For New Aboriginal Inspired Planes

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Qantas Abandon Iconic Red Livery For New Aboriginal Inspired Planes

Image: Qantas

Australian airline Qantas has revealed the first of its new fleet of A220 planes, revealing a dotted blue and green livery in place of its longstanding red branding.

Qantas have endured a lot of bad news this year, including a lot of backlash over steep flight prices and their hasty decision to kick a veteran out of his seat in favour of a young pilot, so they’ll be happy to have released this good news story regarding an exciting new livery on their fleet of A220 planes.

After two weeks stowed away in Airbus’ Canadian paint shop, the first plane to bear the new design has been revealed to the world: the QantasLink aircraft has been covered with blue and green indigenous-inspired artwork in place of the brand’s signature bright red.

WATCH: Now-Departed Alan Joyce Roasts Karl Stefanovic.

Expected to join the current fleet sometime in the new year, this particular plane is destined to fly between Melbourne and Canberra before the remaining 28 planes scheduled to join it will roll out to replace their current selection of Boeing 717s, which are a lot less fuel efficient and have a much shorter range than the new planes.

The livery on these new planes features artwork by Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker and tells the Dreaming story of two sisters who find their way home across the Australian outback. The jet itself even takes its name from this artwork: “Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa — The Two Sisters Creation Story.”

The sixth aircraft in Qantas’ Flying Art series that began way back in 1994, the livery boasts more than 20,000 dots which were carefully put to plane by 200 painters using 130 stencils to carefully replicate every detail, which Airbus has called the most complex livery its ever delivered.

Newly appointed CEO Vanessa Hudson was quick to emphasise how these new planes — with 127 economy seats and 10 business class seats in each— could change the Australian travel landscape:

“These aircraft have the potential to change the way our customers travel across the country, with the ability to connect any two cities or towns in Australia, that means faster and more convenient travel for business trips and exciting new possibilities for holiday travel. A whole new fleet type also means a lot of opportunities for our people to operate and look after these aircraft.”

Vanessa Hudson, CEO Qantas Group

Playing Politics

While the indigenous-inspired design will be embraced by many, it may also ruffle a few “true blue” Aussie feathers; Qantas’ recent support of the ‘Yes’ campaign in support of the referendum on an Aboriginal voice to parliament certainly had the same effect.

At Qantas’ recent AGM, the group revealed that it had spent over A$370,000 in support of the Yes campaign, shortly after Alan Joyce had unveiled three planes bearing the Yes campaign logo in Sydney airport this August. Qantas Chair Richard Goyder had this to say:

“We knew at the time that there would be a diverse set of views but we felt it was important that we continued to support what we had done for a long period of time in terms of Aboriginal reconciliation.”

Richard Goyer