Qantas has unveiled a commemorative Retro Livery to Celebrate it’s 95th Anniversary with a newly configured 737-800 aircraft, Retro Roo II (VH-VXQ), which bears the same livery that featured on Qantas’ Boeing 707 jets from 1959 to 1961.
Qantas became the first carrier outside the United States to operate the B707 in 1959, and used it to become the first airline to offer regular passenger jet services across the Pacific Ocean, connecting Sydney and San Francisco.
Qantas was also the first airline to offer a round-the-world multi-stop jet service onboard the B707, with flying time of 70 hours, which was significantly less than the 127 hours required to fly around the world on the Super Constellation aircraft, which the B707 replaced. Today Qantas flies from Sydney to London in 21 hours with a single stop in Dubai.
The new livery was revealed in a gathering of more than 300 employees, where Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce described the vintage livery as “a flying tribute to the airline’s history of innovation.”
“None of the past 95 years would have been possible without all those who have worked for Qantas with such commitment and passion. Tens of thousands of people have dedicated their whole careers to the national carrier and many who work here today are the third or fourth generation in their family to do so,” Joyce said.
“As we celebrate our 95th birthday today, I hope this livery inspires a sense of pride in what our national airline has achieved during all those years of taking Australians around the world and bringing them safely home again. A large part of the national pride people feel towards the flying kangaroo comes from the fact it has been responsible for so many innovations in global aviation. We were the first airline to introduce business class, we have operated record breaking endurance flights throughout our history and we’ve helped pioneer many breakthroughs in aviation technology.
“Innovation is still at the core of Qantas and we’re now looking to a new generation of aircraft with the arrival of Qantas’ first B787 Dreamliners in 2017. Like the 707 in 1959, these aircraft are at the cutting edge of aviation and we’re really excited about the opportunities they’ll open up for our customers.”
Retro Roo II was painted in Townsville, and is the second Qantas 737 aircraft in vintage livery. Retro Roo I, launched last November, featured the livery of 1971-1984.