Qantas flight QF27 left Sydney for Santiago on Wednesday afternoon sporting a few special features in recognition of some special passengers on board.
Clues that this was no ordinary flight were found on the tail, where a pair of gold footy boots hung over the flying kangaroo, while a football was painted at the rear of the fuselage of the Boeing 747-400ER – registration VH-OEJ – bound for Chile.
The flight was carrying the Socceroos World Cup squad headed to the World Cup in Brazil and left to a water cannon salute at Sydney Airport with hundreds of fans on hand to farewell the team.
The aircraft also had the words “proudly supporting the Socceroos” on the fuselage.
Qantas, which is a sponsor of the team, is running four special services to Rio de Janeiro in June for Australians to travel to Brazil. The flights will run from Sydney to Santiago and onwards to Rio on June 10, 11, 27 and 30.
The Socceroos face a huge task in Brazil, having been drawn in the same group as defending champions Spain, the Netherlands and Chile.
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