Qantas has given its third Boeing 787-9 a distinctly West Australian flavour as the airline counts down to the start of nonstop flights between Perth and London.
The oneworld alliance member said on Friday the third of eight 787-9s on firm order would be named Quokka, which is a native animal most commonly found on Rottnest Island off the coast of Perth.
“Our direct flights between Europe and Australia start in March, so naming our third Dreamliner after a native animal unique to WA seems very fitting,” Qantas International chief executive Alison Webster said in a statement.
“There may be some head scratching moments when people see the name of this aircraft at airports around the world, but a quick internet search will make them immediate quokka converts, and might even encourage them to take a trip.”
Nonstop flights between Perth and London Heathrow start on March 24. Qantas’s 787-9s started their first long-haul route – Melbourne-Los Angeles – commenced just before Christmas.
In June, Qantas published the names of its first batch of 787-9s – Boomerang, Dreamtime, Great Barrier Reef, Great Southern Land, Quokka, Skippy, Uluru and Waltzing Matilda.