First Qantas Airbus A380 repainted in new livery

Qantas Airbus A380 VH-OQF at Sydney Airport after being repainted in the new livery. (Bernie Proctor)
Qantas Airbus A380 VH-OQF at Sydney Airport after being repainted in the new livery. (Bernie Proctor)

The first of eight Qantas Airbus A380s being repainted in the airline’s new livery by Emirates Engineering has arrived back in Australia.

Operating as QF6012, the Qantas A380 VH-OQF landed in Sydney a little after 0700 on Wednesday morning, following its 14-hour journey from Dubai.

The aircraft had been in Dubai since Saturday, March 24, being repainted at the Emirates Aircraft Appearance Centre.

It was announced in February Emirates Engineering had won a contract to repaint eight of Qantas’s 12 Airbus A380s in the new livery.

The new livery, launched in October 2016, features a “streamlined”, pawless kangaroo on the tail of the aircraft and a new font. A silver band also extends from the tail to the rear of the fuselage, among other changes.

Qantas Airbus A380 VH-OQF at Sydney Airport after being repainted in the new livery. (Bernie Proctor)
VH-OQF on its landing roll at Sydney Airport after being repainted in the new livery. (Bernie Proctor)

The first aircraft to feature the new livery, Airbus A330-300 VH-QPJ, was revealed on October 27 2016 at Qantas’s Mascot jet base.

A330-300 VH-QPJ was the first aircraft painted in the new Qantas colours. (Seth Jaworski)

It is only the fifth livery Qantas has introduced since the kangaroo first appeared on Qantas aircraft in 1944. The most recent livery update was in 2007, just prior to Qantas introducing the A380 into service in 2008.

Qantas’s first A380 to be repainted in Dubai comes less than a month after the airline ended its own flights to its alliance partner Emirates’ biggest hub in favour of nonstop Perth-London Heathrow services and a resumption of a Sydney-Singapore-London Heathrow rotation.

“Updating branding on aircraft will be sequenced with scheduled re-paints, to be completed in time for the airline’s centenary in 2020,” Qantas said in October 2016.

The A380 followed repainting of Airbus A330s in Victorville, California, Boeing 737-800s in Seletar, Singapore and at Flying Colours in Townsville, plus Dash 8 Q300s and Q400s at Flying Colours in Townsville. Some Fokker 100s have also been repainted in Seletar and with Douglas Aerospace in Wagga Wagga.

Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-VXM featuring the new livery at Perth Airport. (Dylan Thomas)
Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-VXM featuring the new livery at Perth Airport. (Dylan Thomas)
QantasLink Airbus A320 VH-VQS at Perth Airport. (Duncan Watkinson)
QantasLink Airbus A320 VH-VQS at Perth Airport. (Duncan Watkinson)
Qantaslink Fokker 100 VH-NHP. (Dylan Thomas)
QantasLink Fokker 100 VH-NHP. (Dylan Thomas)

Of course, all of Qantas’s four Boeing 787-9s have come straight from the factory with the new livery.

Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNA. (Seth Jaworski)


  1. D Watson says

    It’s all very well making them look pretty, but does it make them younger and safer ?????

  2. Ben says

    Age doesn’t make them any less safe. What do you want brand new aircraft every few years?

  3. Doug bell says

    Unless the “punter” is treated well, looks will always fail! You actually have to be good, not look good!

  4. Stu Bee says

    Yes, of course it makes them safer and now you’ve just gone and let the cat out of the bag…

    Every Aircraft Engineer worth their salt will tell you “A lick of paint will fix that up”.

    You know that all the QF engineers did to get VH-OQA (Nancy Bird-Walton) back in the air was a couple of strips of gaffer tape and 8 cans of Fiddly Bits spray paint.

  5. Lechuga says

    Not even 10 years old. What makes them “unsafe” another 10 years left in them. (May be a bit of a stretch, but at max)

  6. Stuart says

    There always has to be at least one who finds something to complain about ;)… Statistically, the safest aircraft are those in their mid-lives

  7. Sim says

    I just want a Qantas livery with a proper kangaroo on the tail. I bet the next livery they do, it will just be a simple white swirl on the tail, at which point they should then lose the ‘Spirit of Australia’ wording on the sides as a consequence.

  8. Laoyan says

    What does the repainting try to indicate, a change of ownership, or some other important milestones?

  9. Allen eddy says

    First of all it gives the planes a fresher look 2 its still Qantas in 5 to 6 or more the old planes willbe gone .
    3 Qantas has not crashed it still the safest airline going its a proud record to have .
    Last Qantas keeps them for a long time but when they start to cost lets say 10 years thats when Qantas gets new planes , u 2 should hang your head in shame .

  10. Michael A Buoy says

    Looking great !
    But will in lead to a price increase in airfares I am thinking yes 🇿🇦

  11. says

    Why don’t you paint a Koala on some plains . It surely will make a difference to some kids who , when asked which plane they would like to travel in , would prefer a cuddly Koala or even a platypus . Depending of the size of the plane , big planes , big animals , smaller planes , small animals . Sometimes a change like that would really attract a lot of interest .

  12. says

    I guess that a lot of travellers would not even see the change on the tail of the plane . So why all that fuzz about it . put a koala on the tail and it will be noticed .

  13. Brian says

    It doesn’t matter what it looks like on the outside, its what happens on the inside, and that’s where it falls over. The cabin crew are hopeless compared to their little brother Jetstar!!

  14. NJP says

    Emirates re-painting 8 of 12 A380s…… are the other 4 going to be tendered for re-painting at another date?
    ……or are they the newest 4 and not due for painting yet?
    ….or are they the oldest 4 and due to be phased-out and not worth re-painting

  15. Dassa says

    Where are the jobs Joyce how about hiring to have all repainting done here in Australia and all the machanics done here not good enough there are good aircraft painters here

  16. Terry Rayner says

    I would like the name changed to Air Australia. The Qantas name is outdated The Queensland and Northern Territory Air Service was ok when it started keep the kangaroo and change the name.

  17. Thomas Winter says

    I think that Qantas doe s an amazing job of maintaining their aircraft. does anyone else agree

  18. David says

    Dassa, really? They’re a business, they should do painting where it makes economic sense. End of story.

  19. TSV says


    There is no facility in Australia big enough to accommodate the A380 for repainting. Actually there’s no facility in Australia that can do aircraft bigger than a B737, hence why the Dash 8’s, B737’s and F100’s are being completed in Australia (by Flying Colours, an Australian company…), and the A330’s and A380’s are being done overseas.

    I did hear a rumour that Flying Colours in Townsville were building a widebody facility in Brisbane for aircraft up to B777. Would be good to find out if that’s true!

  20. john doutch says

    Oh Dear, after reading most of these comments, I felt it must have been April Fools day. (and I do respect ALL opinions). A brand name worth Billions, why change it. Exterior paint job on the ac is looking very tired, hence the refresh.

  21. Malcolm Nelson says

    More than painting new air crafts they should seriously think who is s catering for thd passengers on business class. Flying last week on buusness class the disgusting food on boaed was pathetic. May be not only getting emirates to paint the aircrafts cthey should seriously ask them to do the catering fo qantas buisness class and the lounges..

  22. Adrian P says

    Survey foreign QANTAS destinations as to what is QANTAS and its nationality.
    How many would get it right?
    As many as those who know Canberra is the capital and not Sydney?

  23. Paule says

    As the centenary of this airline approaches, of course it’s appropriate to be looking forward with a fresh coat of paint. But we must remember that this both international and domestic airline has its heritage in TAA/Australian Airlines as well. It would be wonderful,to see a couple of 717’s painted up as Retro Roos in the old colours of TAA as an acknowledgement of the contribution that airline gave to the larger company when it was privatised.

    Change the name? Really? QANTAS is one of the world’s most valuable brand names. Why would you throw that away?

  24. Markie Mark says

    The aircraft looks fantastic. In November 2020 our national airline turns 100 years old. It’s one of the most well known iconic brands in Australia, no one in their right mind would change its name. Well done Qantas.

  25. James says

    @ Paule

    Re the 717. I totally agree mate. If they could afford to do it I reckon it would look awesome. Even a 737 in Australian colours. If it wouldn’t confuse people too much..

  26. Gary says

    Dassa – Are you just unloading on QANTAS? How about Virgin who do all their deeper maintenance overseas. Don’t just point your finger at QF CEO!

  27. Treb Retosf says

    Isn’t amazing when even some of the oldest QLink Dash 8’s get the new scheme when there are 737-800’s still with the scheme of TWO version ago?

    And they are looking grubby! So much for image!

  28. Rocket says

    @ Malcolm Nelson

    The plural of aircraft is aircraft. There’s no such thing as ‘aircrafts’ or ‘air crafts’.

    As for suggestions of changing the name of putting a koala on the tail, agree with the latter comments, branding is worth billions and this brand is known worldwide. Changing the name or the logo to another animal would be a monumentally stupid decision. Just ask British Aiways how removing the union flag image from their aircraft tails worked out.

  29. Veejette says

    I remember the words ‘Air Australia’ on top right hand corner, cover page, of TAA printed Timetables, back in the day.

    Does nobody else remember that?

    QANTAS will celebrate its’ Centenary in 2020. Its’ name is synonymous with Australia, excellent aircraft maintenance, & aviation history in this Country.

    Love the big ‘White Rat’ in all its’ manifestations!

  30. Mike says

    @Treb Retosf(?) apart from the two retro-roo liveries and Mendoowoorji, all the remaining Qantas B737-800 fleet now wear the current 2016 “silver roo” livery or the recently superseded 2007 “new roo” colour scheme.
    Im afraid we’ve missed our chance to capture all three different red-tail, wrap-around livery eras together. I was however very fortunate to see just that, ie, the past two and current livery on three B738s at Tullamarine in February! A shame I wasn’t able to capture that historic moment.

    Following on from @Paule and @James, if Qantas were to repaint some aircraft into “heritage” liveries other than former Qantas colour schemes, it isn’t the first carrier to do so.
    American Airlines has at least 8 heritage colour schemes flying, in addition to some American Airlines retro liveries.
    The “heritage” colour schemes include TWA, AirCal, Reno Air, Piedmont, Allegheny,
    PSA, America West and USAirways. These B737 and A320/321 aircraft wear the defunct airline’s livery and have the American name on the forward fuselage.
    Some bear the “heritage” carrier’s name too, if it was part of that carrier’s tail livery, eg, TWA and AirCal.
    Who knows, Qantas management may see fit to do a similar thing here for the company’s centenary and acknowledge the specific heritage of Qantas’ domestic operations?
    DC-3 “Hawdon” which started Trans-Australia Airlines may have that era livery return to the skies on a B738?!
    And yes the “dear old DC-9” may reappear in Australian skies albeit in the guise of a B717, perhaps sporting the famous TAA blue-wedge livery?!
    And as mentioned by @James it would be great to see Australian airlines blue, yellow and green colours soaring aloft, again…..Oh you should see up now!!!
    Sigh! : )
    I live in hope!

  31. ESLowe says

    I thought the real issue about “age” for aircraft was really to do with the increasing amount of maintenance, and therefore cost, a plane needed to keep it airworthy as it aged. So long as it’s cost efficient to service a plane, you keep it flying.. I mean, how long would an airline stay in business if it dumped relatively new planes for the latest fuel efficient type every time a new one came out? In the same line of reasoning, is this not the reason Boeing keep the 737 in production….there’s nothing in the new technology bag to offer the quantum leap forward over the 737 to justify replacing this venerable 50 year old type?

  32. Vannus says

    In 1969, QANTAS was ‘thinking’ about changing its’ name.
    The cost to do so then, was worked out to be Five Million Dollars, all up.

    Thank goodness they decided against such a move.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *