Australian Airlines today came one step closer to take off when its first aircraft was unveiled in Sydney.
The aircraft - the first of four Boeing 767-300s slated for delivery over the next month - touched down at Mascot after completing a fly over of Sydney Harbour.
The aircraft will become a familiar sight in the skies as it continues to operate Qantas services around Australia in the coming weeks, prior to being handed over to Australian Airlines in early October for a re-fit of the aircraft`s interior.
Australian Airlines Chief Executive Officer Denis Adams said that with just six weeks to go before the inaugural flights, the arrival of the first aircraft was a major milestone in the creation of a new airline.
“Just over a year ago we started with a plan and a small team of dedicated people who have all worked very hard to bring us to where we are today. The fact that we now have our first aircraft makes this a very special day,” Mr Adams said.
“Australian Airlines is nothing but good news for Australia and for Australian tourism and we are all enormously excited at the opportunity this airline presents,” he added.
The aircraft livery, created by Hulsbosch Communication by Design, features a kangaroo on the tail and ochre - the colour of the heart of Australia - as its signature colour.
Mr Adams said that the airline wanted to maintain an association with the original Australian Airlines, which also featured a kangaroo and was warmly regarded by Australians.
“The universal icon of the kangaroo and the colour of Australia`s red centre are identified with Australia both here and around the world. They carry the feeling of the Australian landscape, so they were ideal choices for Australia`s new international airline.”
“We also opted for rounded shapes and chose a flowing, almost hand-written style of typeface to emphasise Australian Airlines` warm and welcoming style. The result captures the friendly and relaxed personality for which Australians are famous - and for which our inflight service will become known,” he added.
As a full service international leisure carrier, Australian Airlines will offer hot meals and refreshments, snacks, inflight entertainment and modern, comfortable seating in a wide-body cabin.
“The comfort of our customers on an eight or nine hour trip is critical to their enjoyment of the journey with us and we`ve designed our inflight service with that very much in mind. As an inbound operation, we`ve also considered the different cultures of the people who will be flying with us and the service, inflight entertainment and menu selection will reflect that,” Mr Adams said.
The first Australian Airlines services will depart Cairns on October 27 for the Japanese cities of Nagoya and Osaka.
Services between Cairns and Fukuoka, Singapore, Taipei and Hong Kong will commence on 21 and 22 November.