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Names for first batch of Qantas Boeing 787-9s to feature indigenous heritage, landmarks and native animals

written by australianaviation.com.au | June 21, 2017

An artist's impression of a Boeing 787-9 in Qantas livery. (Qantas)
Qantas has announced the names of its first Boeing 787s. (Qantas)

Australia’s indigenous heritage will feature prominently among Qantas’s first batch of eight Boeing 787-9s with Boomerang, Uluru and Dreamtime making the final list names for the soon-to-arrive next generation aircraft.

The list comprises Boomerang, Dreamtime, Great Barrier Reef, Great Southern Land, Quokka, Skippy, Uluru and Waltzing Matilda. Qantas said on Wednesday the name of the first 787-9 that is due for delivery in October would be announced at a later date.

A supplied image of Davey the Quokka from WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo with a 787-9 model in Qantas livery. (Qantas)
Davey the Quokka from WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo with a Qantas A330 model. (Qantas)

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said it was a “good mix of names” that included national landmarks, native animals, literature and indigenous heritage.

“We know people get a real sense of home when they see the flying kangaroo at airports around the world, and hopefully they’ll enjoy seeing these uniquely Australian names as well,” Joyce said in a statement.

The names for the first eight Dreamliners had been whittled down from an initial 60,000 suggestions and a shortlist of 20 that was released at the start of June.


The four people who made the 20-strong shortlist – cricketer Don Bradman, Doctor Fred Hollows, opera singer Joan Sutherland and tennis champion Evonne Goolagong – did not make the final cut. Nor did the only brand on the shortlist, Vegemite.

Qantas has eight 787-9s on order, with options for a further 35. The aircraft will, initially, operate on the Melbourne-Los Angeles route before being deployed on Perth-London Heathrow nonstop flights from March 2018.

The airline has a long-standing tradition of naming its aircraft, mostly after Australian cities, towns and places.

Exceptions in the current fleet include the Airbus A380s, which are named after prominent Australian aviation pioneers, the original Retro Roo 737-800 which is named after former airline chief executive James Strong, and the New Zealand-based, Jetconnect-operated 737-800 subfleet, which is named after New Zealand pioneers.

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Comments (13)

  • Duncan Mok


    Nope. That’s not a 787 model being sniffed by a quokka… it’s an A330.

    • australianaviation.com.au


      Thanks Duncan. The story has been updated. Apologies for the error.

  • Lechuga


    Boomerang, if that’s not the name of the first one I will be disappointed. I love that name.

  • Roman


    Why are the names not featured more prominently?
    Surely it would be great if it was easily seen on the plane or maybe the belly.
    Would be the only airline to do it and surely generate conversation when people see the name.

  • Barry


    Game changing names for a Game changing aircraft (rolls eyes)



    They should really call the aircraft in question Dreaming not Dreamtime as Dreamtime is the name that Europeans gave the period. Aborigines call it the Dreaming.

  • Robert


    Pretty unimaginative names.
    What happened to “David Boon”?

  • Boaty McBoatFace


    Disappointed Planey McPlaneface didn’t get a guernsey

  • Alan


    Hopefully Boomerang wont have to return all the time …………. Sorry someone had to say it ….

  • william


    Fred Hollows would of been much better than Quokka

  • Nicholas


    What happened to ” The Margaret Court” ???

  • Ian Deans


    It’s all really going to matter to those of us crammed in hard squashy economy seats for hours on end. What a load of bollocks.

  • Interesting “story” I picked up with a conversation with a Passenger siting next to me employed by Qantas was that because of restrictions flying Eastbound on the EGLL to YPPH route reference possible diversions due to weather, Qantas are going to just try out the new route YMML-YPPH-EGLL for 1-2 years using the first 4 Dreamliners, but with a potential plan to switch them to routes such as YPPH to LGAV and onto LFPG or LIRA plus YPPH to EDDF and onto EGCC and even to EDDT, then acquiring the new A350-900ULR for the route YMML to EGLL non stop in 2020. This would thus allow Qantas to effectively switch their order slots for A380s to the A350-900ULR aircraft and in the process get them back into routes they effectively gave up to Emirates or expand into new routes such as to LGAV and EDDT. Such thinking perhaps explains why compared to many other airlines, Qantas has so far ordered so few Dreamliners with years between the initial orders (11 to Jetstar) and 8 for Qantas).

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