The Flying Kangaroo goes old school

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For the first time in Qantas’ 94 year history, the airline will introduce a “retro” livery on one of its brand new Boeing 737 aircraft as a flying tribute to 70 years of its iconic kangaroo logo.

The original kangaroo symbol, that was adapted from the Australian one penny coin, was initially painted beneath the cockpit of Qantas’ first Liberator aircraft G-AGKT in 1944 following the airline’s decision to name its Indian Ocean passage the Kangaroo Service.

Group Executive for Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth said the kangaroo that now features on the tail of every single Qantas aircraft is well and truly part of the Australian story.

“For 70 years the flying kangaroo has been a symbol of aviation innovation around the world, driving higher standards in safety, technology, product and service,” said Ms Wirth.

“Our kangaroo logo represents our proud history, inextricably linked with the development of commercial aviation in Australia. It has also become a symbol of ‘home’ to Australians travelling both here and abroad.

“A retro livery is the perfect tribute to our iconic flying kangaroo logo and its 70th anniversary. While it serves as a nod to our heritage, having it fly on one of our brand new Boeing 737s highlights our commitment to being an aviation innovator when it comes to new aircraft and modern technology.

“Qantas has flown under many liveries throughout its 94 year history and I know this historic design will bring back a lot of memories for many of our customers who have chosen to fly with us over the years.”

Qantas will take delivery of its new Boeing 737 from the Boeing Factory in Seattle in late November. It will be the 75th Boeing 737-800 to join the Qantas fleet.

History of the flying kangaroo:

The original Kangaroo symbol appearing on Qantas aircraft was adapted from the Australian one penny coin.

1944 – The kangaroo was first painted beneath the cockpit of Qantas’ first Liberator aircraft G-AGKT, following Qantas’ decision to name its Indian Ocean passage the Kangaroo Service. The symbol featured on all later aircraft.

1947 – The winged kangaroo symbol was created for the introduction of Qantas’ Lockheed L749 Constellations. They were the first Qantas aircraft to carry the Flying Kangaroo and the first to operate right through to London with Qantas crews. The Flying Kangaroo was later placed in a circle.

1984 – The Flying Kangaroo lost its wings once again in an updated logo and was refined to a more slender, stylised presentation.

1995 – A logo created for the airline’s 75th anniversary year was added to all Qantas jet aircraft. It brought together the Flying Kangaroo symbol and the words ’75 years’ to mark Qantas’ contribution to civil aviation.

2007 – Qantas unveiled a new interpretation of its iconic logo, designed to reflect the changing structure of the airline’s new generation aircraft, and keeping with Qantas’ increasing focus on contemporary design for its in-flight and on-the-ground products.

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