Pictures of Qantas’ retro 737-800 released

November 10, 2014

Qantas has gone back to the future with its next plane to be delivered from Boeing.

For the first time in Qantas’ 94 year history, the airline has introduced a “retro” livery on one of its new Boeing 737s as a flying tribute to 70 years of its iconic kangaroo logo. has obtained a sneak peek of the new aircraft prior to its delivery early next week. 

The original kangaroo symbol synonymous with Qantas was initially painted beneath the cockpit of Qantas’ first Liberator aircraft G-AGKT in 1944. Engineers based in Western Australia painted the symbol following the airline’s decision to name its Indian Ocean passage the Kangaroo Service.

Group Executive for Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth said the kangaroo that now features on the tail of every single Qantas aircraft is well and truly part of the Australian story.

“For 70 years the flying kangaroo has been a symbol of aviation innovation around the world, driving higher standards in safety, technology, product and service,” said Ms Wirth.

“Our kangaroo logo represents our proud history, inextricably linked with the development of commercial aviation in Australia. It has also become a symbol of ‘home’ to Australians travelling both here and abroad.”

“Qantas has flown under many liveries throughout its 94 year history and I know this historic design will bring back a lot of memories for many of our customers who have chosen to fly with us over the years.”

Qantas will take delivery of its new Boeing 737 from the Boeing Factory in Seattle early next week. It will be the 75th Boeing 737-800 to join the Qantas fleet.

History of the flying kangaroo

The original Kangaroo symbol appearing on Qantas aircraft was adapted from the Australian one penny coin.

 1944 – The kangaroo was first painted beneath the cockpit of Qantas’ first Liberator aircraft G-AGKT, following Qantas’ decision to name its Indian Ocean passage the Kangaroo Service. The symbol featured on all later aircraft.

 1947 – The winged kangaroo symbol was created for the introduction of Qantas’ Lockheed L749 Constellations. They were the first Qantas aircraft to carry the Flying Kangaroo and the first to operate right through to London with Qantas crews. The Flying Kangaroo was later placed in a circle.

 1984 – The Flying Kangaroo lost its wings once again in an updated logo and was refined to a more slender, stylised presentation.

 1995 – A logo created for the airline’s 75th anniversary year was added to all Qantas jet aircraft. It brought together the Flying Kangaroo symbol and the words ’75 years’ to mark Qantas’ contribution to civil aviation.

 2007 – Qantas unveiled a new interpretation of its iconic logo, designed to reflect the changing structure of the airline’s new generation aircraft, and keeping with Qantas’ increasing focus on contemporary design for its in-flight and on-the-ground products. 

Over its 94 year history Qantas has amassed an extraordinary record of firsts in safety and operations. In 2008 in its successful defence to the British Advertising Standards Association of its claim that it is the world’s most experienced airline, Qantas was able to list almost 30 notable industry leading achievements.   Read: Qantas the Safest Airline