Qantas to bring Australia’s Rio Olympic athletes home in special livery 747

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 22, 2016
Qantas Boeing 747-400ER VH-OEJ at Sydney Airport. (James Lusher)
Qantas Boeing 747-400ER VH-OEJ at Sydney Airport on August 20 2016. (James Lusher)

After 16 days of competition, Australia’s Olympic athletes will soon begin the long journey home from Rio de Janeiro on a Qantas Boeing 747-400ER decked out in special livery.

The aircraft to bring the team back to Australia, VH-OEJ, left Sydney on Saturday morning operating QF73 bound for San Francisco. The aircraft features a Boxing Kangaroo decal on the fuselage, as well as a medal draped around the neck of the Flying Kangaroo carrying an Australian flag on the tail.

From there, VH-OEJ was expected to be ferried to Rio de Janeiro to pick up members of the Olympic team, with the return flight to Australia due to depart on Monday (local time).

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The athletes were scheduled to arrive in Sydney early on Wednesday morning, with a welcome home reception to take place at Qantas’s Mascot base.

Australia finished 10th on the medal tally at the Rio Olympics with eight gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals. The United States topped the list with 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze.

It was understood gold medallists would be given priority for the 747’s 58 business class seats located in the nose section of the aircraft and on the upper deck, followed by those who won silver and bronze medals at the Games.

In addition to the 58 business class seats, VH-OEJ is also configured with 36 premium economy seats and 270 economy seats.

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Qantas Boeing 747-400ER VH-OEJ at Sydney Airport. (James Lusher)
The Qantas Boeing 747-400ER operating QF73 to San Francisco. (James Lusher)

Other ways Qantas has thrown its support behind the Australian Olympic and Paralympic team has been the special green and gold pyjamas it has offered to passengers in business class on selected routes since July 22.

The souvenir pyjamas, which are available on flights to Santiago, Dubai, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Dallas, Tokyo, Johannesburg and Vancouver would continue until September 18.

Qantas green and gold PJs. (Qantas)
A supplied image of Qantas’s special edition green and gold PJs. (Qantas)

16 Comments

  • Andrew Frabklin

    says:

    Fantastic fore planning…Well done Qantas.!!!!

  • Jaso

    says:

    I wonder how long they will keep into in the special livery?

  • Lee Gatland

    says:

    VH-OEJ returning from SFO as QF74 at this time to SYD.
    VH-OEG is the new aircraft but unfortunately no special livery.

  • Val

    says:

    Well done Qantas!! You’ve featured as a proud supporter of our Australian athletes throughout the Games. These athletes have worked hard in order to compete, your show of support will definitely be appreciated. (Plus, those PJs are a winner)!

  • jcook

    says:

    VH-OEG as QF 6007 just landed at SCL ( Santiago Chile ) on ferry from SFO . Landed 0117 hrs AEST Tues . Local time in Chile /Brazil is 1217 hrs Mon . VH-OEJ is currently in SYD scheduled to go to LAX later this morning .

  • jcook

    says:

    VH-OEG is airborne again heading for Rio from Santiago

  • Jack

    says:

    So will the returning scheduled flight to Sydney from Santiago have paying passengers along with the athlets or will the flight be cancelled for the paying passengers?

  • Ian W Mathieson

    says:

    All I want to know is when will the team aircraft arrive in Sydney on Wednesday.

  • Ella

    says:

    They are arriving at 6:55 local time – flight no QF6032.

  • John

    says:

    VH-OEG Just left Santiago bound for SYD . Left about an hour late . Was scheduled to arrive at 0715 hrs AEST Wed . Now saying 1024 hrs .Long flight , Will depend on head/tail winds .

  • Chris Dwyer

    says:

    What is the flight no of the Olympic flight?

  • Scott

    says:

    Can the public cheer them home at airport

  • David

    says:

    I show VHOEJ operating sked flight QF27 Sydney/Santiago with Olympic livery.
    Charter VHOEG shows as QF6032 Rio/Santiago/Sydney presumably with athletes on board and
    estimated arrival 0618 Wednesday. .. but minus Olympic Livery to show off at Mascot>What happened I wonder.

  • John

    says:

    QF6023 is flight number . Now off Radar . Latest eta around 0700 hrs

  • John

    says:

    Sorry , correction ,QF 6032 . There is no edit function .

  • Adam muggleton

    says:

    From a graphic point of view it looks ugly. And as for the boxing kangaroo, Big Yawn.

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