As Qantas gets set for the arrival of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Sydney next year, the airline has revealed an update to its livery including subtle updates to its iconic Kangaroo logo and new cabins ideally suited to the highly-connected traveller.

This is only the fifth time the beloved Roo has had an updo since 1944. The last update in 2007 marked the introduction of the Airbus A380 aircraft to Qantas’ fleet.

Today’s fresh livery honors the design principles of the brand’s icon, but adds subtle new shading which creates dimension and makes the Roo seem set to spring for a healthy hop around the world.

Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, revealed the new design together with the new Business Suites and Economy seats that will feature on the B787 to 1,000 employees and guests during a special ceremony in one of the airline’s hangars in Sydney.

“Since the image of a kangaroo first appeared on a Qantas aircraft more than 80 years ago, it’s come to represent the spirit of Australia. When passengers see the Qantas tail at airports around the world, it’s a symbol of home,” said Joyce.

“We wanted to make sure our brand remained familiar but we also wanted it to be more modern and dynamic, like the 787 and like Qantas. When we looked at the history, we found that the logo has been updated around the time of a game-changing new aircraft joining the fleet. It’s a tradition that goes back to the Lockheed Constellation in 1947, the B747-300 in 1984 and the A380 in 2007. A fresh brand helps symbolise the new era Qantas is entering as we head towards our centenary. It’s an era of new destinations, new technology and a new standard of service,” Joyce added.

The new design was overseen by Qantas consultant designer, Marc Newson, in partnership with Australian design agency Houston Group.

Marc Newson also helped design Qantas’ lounges, the airline’s A380 cabin and the unique ‘Skybed’ premium cabin product.

“Aircraft tails are fantastic canvas to work on and the Qantas logo is one of the most recognisable in the world. This re-design aims to retain the fundamental essence of the flying kangaroo but also move the brand forward,” Newson said.

“This new brand is more streamlined and the shading behind the kangaroo gives a better sense of movement and depth. A silver band now extends from the tail to the rear of the fuselage, to give a more premium feel,” he added. “The typography for the word Qantas, which measures almost two metres high on the 787, has been carefully streamlined. And Qantas will appear on the aircraft’s belly, so you can tell when it’s the national carrier flying overhead.”

In addition to the lively new Roo, Qantas has added a silver band which flows from the tail through to the rear of the fuselage. The font for ‘Qantas’ has also been updated on the side of the aircraft, trimmed and painted in a lighter shade. Qantas also borrowed a page from partner Emirates by adding a bold print of its name on the underbelly of the plane, to make the aircraft easier to recognize from the ground.

The Qantas Kangaroo is also added to the inside curved edge of the wingtips so that people can add the Roo to their Instagram window shot collections.

On the outboard engine cowls, the Kangaroo has been centered and enlarged, making it more prominent.

With the modernized livery, the airline also referenced its roots, featuring the classic winged kangaroo (which graced Qantas aircraft tails in the 60s, 70s and 80s) under the cockpit window including the name of each aircraft. Though framed in this classic kangaroo background, Qantas was careful to emphasize that the planes’ names will remain the same. The airline has also kept the classic ‘Qantas red’ and white of the fuselage in tact.

Qantas will introduce the new livery across its network and the new design will also feature on digital assets, signage and advertising. Aircraft livery updates should be completed by 2020, in time for Qantas’ centenary celebrations.

New Interiors

Qantas has also unveiled the cabin interiors for its flagship 787-9 Dreamliner which will enter the fleet next year.

It will seat 236 passengers in a three class configuration: Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins, with a layout which the airline says considers the comfort needs of passengers for the longer distances the 787-9 will fly.

The Business Suite is the next generation of the seat recently installed on Qantas’ Airbus A330 fleet, in a 1-2-1 configuration, with direct aisle access for all passengers.

These offer an adjustable divider between each seat for greater privacy, a fully-flat bed, and other features which allow for all the activities passengers will want to get up to during the journey: whether dining, dreaming working or catching up on the latest entertainment. Due to the unique certification parameters of the seat structure, passengers will be able to stay reclined for take-off and landing.

Economy Which Feels Very Premium

The Economy cabin will also offer passengers a brand new seat which is closer to a Premium economy seat with comfort considerations including more room–including an extra inch of seat pitch, when compared with Economy class on Qantas’ A380.

This new Economy seat also takes into account the entertainment and productivity needs of passengers with a number of features intended to help hyper-connected flyers make the most of their time onboard. These include a personal electronic device holder and USB ports; more storage areas; a seat-back mood light designed to minimise disturbance for other passengers; and a high-definition entertainment touchscreen that is five per cent larger than existing Qantas Economy cabin screens. The popular Qantas ‘footnet’, first introduced on the A380 and designed to cradle the legs during sleep, is included as a feature of the new Economy seating.

Unveiling the new Dreamliner cabins, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce described how the interiors were designed to play-off the passenger-friendly features of the Dreamliner 787.

“The Dreamliner is an aircraft built for comfort. The windows are bigger, it helps reduce jetlag, it’s extremely quiet and there’s a system that smooths out turbulence. Customers are going to love it,” Joyce said. “We’ve designed the cabin to give Qantas passengers a better experience on long haul flights. Many of the cabin design elements reflect what our customers have told us. Personal storage rates really highly, so we’ve created extra space in Economy for customers to store their personal devices and water bottles. We’re proud that our new Economy seat includes features other carriers reserve for Premium Economy. We’re also redesigning the in-flight experience for the Dreamliner, from rethinking our menus to making better use of the self-service bars during different phases of flight.”

The Dreamliner cabin interiors and new economy seat, were designed by Australian industrial designer David Caon, and are a progression of the Qantas aesthetic previously established by Marc Newson.

The Dreamliner’s Premium Economy cabin, which Qantas promises will offer “a class leading experience and a revolutionary new seat,” will be unveiled in early 2017. Given the Premium-Economy features introduced into the standard Economy seat, we should expect a very high standard of comfort.

Qantas will reveal Dreamliner destinations in the coming months, and the first international flights will go on sale before the Christmas holidays. The airline expects the Dreamliner to ultimately take over routes currently flown by Qantas’ B747 fleet, and will allow new city-pairs to be introduced into Qantas’ International network.

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