Fresh from the paint shop, Qantas has just released the first pictured of its latest indigenous aircraft livery which honours Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The artwork has been painted on the Australian airline’s latest Boeing 787-9 aircraft and has been named, Emily Kame Kngwarreye after the artist whose work the design is based on.
The artwork has been adapted from a 1991 painting by Kngwarreye called Yam Dreaming – a staple food source in the artist’s home region of Utopia, located around 230km north east of Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory.
“As the national carrier we’re thrilled to showcase another piece of Indigenous culture on one of our aircraft, and to reiterate our ongoing commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” explained the airline’s chief executive, Alan Joyce.
“It’s a beautiful, bold artwork and so we hope it catches people’s eye and sparks a conversation about our country’s dynamic Indigenous culture.”
It took a team of 60 graphic designers, engineers and painters at Boeing’s paint shop in Seattle to install the new livery which features nearly 5,000 individual dots. Now it’s complete, the Boeing 787 with registration VH-ZND will fly the 15-hour flight from Washington to Alice Springs for an official unveiling.
The aircraft will be one of two in the Qantas fleet that features a special Aboriginal livery – the other being a Boeing 737. Five other aircraft have previously been adorned with Indigenous designs, although this latest effort is the first to use paint quite so sparingly – perhaps in recognition of the extra fuel burn a paint heavy design can cause.
Qantas says it has been actively promoting the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since the mid-1990’s. It’s part of what the airline call’s its “long-term commitment to reconciliation and the promotion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and economic development.”
It’s hoped the latest livery will encourage more people to explore Australia’s Indigenous culture.