Qantas has taken formal delivery of its retro painted 737, featuring the airline’s iconic ochre livery of the 1970s and early 1980s, in a ceremony in Seattle on Sunday.
“It is a livery that will be familiar to Australians because the ’70s and ’80s saw Qantas become a truly global airline, working hand in hand with Boeing,” Qantas chief financial officer Gareth Evans said during the event at Boeing Field.
“It was a new era where long-haul travel became a realistic aspiration for ordinary Australians. Millions of Australians experienced overseas travel for the first time on a Qantas aircraft painted in this iconic design,” Evans said.
The aircraft, VH-XZP, is Qantas’s 75th 737-800, and has been named after former Qantas chief executive James Strong.
“James passed away last year after a lifetime of achievement, but his legacy lives on today,” Evans said.
Strong was one of “Qantas’s great leaders”, said the Qantas CFO, who had a “deep interest” in the airline’s history.
VH-XZP is the last 737 in Qantas’s current order book, and is due depart Seattle on its delivery flight to Sydney on Monday morning. After a refuelling stop in Honolulu and an overnight in Nadi, Fiji, the aircraft is due to arrive in Sydney on late Wednesday morning.