The aircraft, registration VH-ZND, is due to arrive from the Boeing final assembly line in Everett, Washington State, in early March 2018 and be welcomed into the fleet at a special arrival event in Alice Springs.
Further, it will be second aircraft in the current Qantas fleet to feature Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
“The unique livery reflects the long, rich history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and is in keeping with the airline’s commitment to championing reconciliation and promoting the best of Australia to the world,” Qantas said on Thursday.
The four 787-9s will operate a Los Angeles-Melbourne-Perth-London Heathrow routing, allowing Qantas to offer regular scheduled passenger nonstop flights between Australia and Europe for the first time. The two 787-9s already delivered have enabled the start of Melbourne-Los Angeles flights with the next generation Boeing widebody.
Qantas has had five aircraft painted with an Indigenous livery – two Boeing 747-400s, one Boeing 747-300 and two 737s – designed in partnership with the Balarinji design studio.
The only one currently in service is Boeing 737-800 VH-XZJ, Mendoowoorrji, which Qantas said was was inspired by Paddy Bedford’s painting ‘Medicine Pocket’ and “captures the essence of Mendoowoorrji, Bedford’s mother’s country in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia”.
Previously, Wunala Dreaming featured on two Boeing 747-400s (VH-OJB from 1994-2003 and VH-OEJ from 2003–2011). The artwork inspired by the Yanyuwa people from the Gulf of Carpentaria and a celebration of the “reproduction of all living things in the continuing harmony of nature’s seasons”.
Meanwhile, Nalanji Dreaming was on 747-300 VH-EBU from 1995 until the aircraft was retired in 2005 and Yananyi Dreaming was on 737-800 VH-VXB in 2002.
Here is a look at some of the previous Qantas aircraft with indigenous liveries.