Monday, 24 November 2014

QANTAS Launches "Retrojet"

Qantas’ newest jet is a blast from Australia’s aviation past: a factory-fresh Boeing 737-800 painted in a ‘flying kangaroo’ retro-livery from the 1970s.

The RetroRoo jet was unveilled today in Seattle, on the 94th anniversary of Qantas being founded as the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service.

The tail includes the iconic winged kangaroo, was adapted from the original 1947 version designed by Gert Sellheim. But a more noticeable signature element of the livery is the ochre band around the window line of the aircraft. The colour was chosen to reflect the palette of the Australian outback where Qantas was established in 1920. In contrast to today's largely white-with-red colour scheme, the underside of the fuselage is painted in grey.

This is a nod to the metallic undercarriage of the Qantas fleet during the lifetime of the original livery.

The ‘back to the future’ effect is completed by the older and fatter Qantas logotype plus the full Qantas Australia branding. The original 1971–1984 'heritage' livery was created by freelance designer Harry Rogers, and included this unique typefrace created by Rogers for the project and called Cyclone. The plane itself is Qantas' 75th Boeing 737-800 and named James Strong in honour of the former Qantas CEO who passed away in 2013.

Qantas ambassador, pilot and aviation enthusiast John Travolta attended the unveilling and said the retro livery brought back plenty of memories for him.

“It’s great to see a piece of Qantas history flying in the sky today,” Travolta said. “I have enjoyed many wonderful experiences with Qantas over the years, from getting my 747 wings to having my own 707 painted in the original 1960s Qantas livery."

"This is a great celebration of the brand’s heritage and incredible reputation over the years."

Travolta was joined by Qantas cabin crew wearing the bright uniforms of the era designed by Emilio Pucci.

We have to admit, the newest Qantas kit cut by Martin Grant doesn't look at all out of place next to this 40 year old livery.

That alone is testament to the brilliance of Grant's design, which carefully references those 'golden olden days' of flying with the uniform's jaunty trilby cap, trenchcoat and scarf.

“It’s a bit of a time warp having a 1970s livery on one of our brand new Boeing 737 aircraft" observed Qantas Group Executive for Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth, "but it’s the perfect way to highlight the years of experience behind the contemporary airline Qantas is today."

“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."

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Silkair to Cairns

In a boost to North Queensland tourism, Singapore Airlines-owned regional carrier Silkair will fly to Cairns from its Singapore hub from May 30 2015.

Cairns will be Silkair’s second Australian destination, following the launch of direct service to Darwin in March 2012.

“This is an exciting development for SilkAir, to be able to expand our presence in the Australian market,” Silkair chief executive Leslie Thng said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We believe this new service will be of interest to the leisure travellers as Cairns is well known for being the gateway to the popular Great Barrier Reef.”

Silkair and Singapore Airlines will operate to seven Australian destinations – Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – once the new flights launch in May 2015.

The airline will fly from Singapore to Cairns via Darwin on Mondays and Thursdays, with a non-stop flight on Saturdays.

The return from Cairns to Singapore will be non-stop on Mondays and Thursdays, while those heading to the city-state or beyond on Saturdays will travel via Darwin.

The airline said the route would be flown by Boeing 737-800 aircraft with business and economy class.

Cairns Airport chief executive Kevin Brown said the new services would provide vital links from North Queensland to Asia and Europe and make it easier for overseas tourists to visit the Great Barrier Reef.

Queensland Minister for Tourism Jann Stuckey said Silkair was expected to deliver about 20,000 extra visitors to the region, with the route to generate $14 million in visitor spending during its first year of operation.

Stuckey said the route was supported by the state government’s Aviation Investment Fund.

“The Queensland government looks forward to working in partnership with SilkAir to deliver international marketing activities over the next three years to support this highly anticipated service,” Stuckey said in a statement.

Singapore Airlines owns about 23 per cent of Virgin Australia and the two carriers have a codeshare agreement, deep alliance and reciprocal frequent flyer arrangement across their respective networks.