QANTAS Airways (Sydney) released this statement about its first retrojet “RetroRoo” arriving in Sydney:
The newest addition to the QANTAS Airways fleet has touched down on Australian soil, proudly carrying a retro livery and bearing the name of trailblazing former CEO James Strong.
The design is a flashback to the livery that adorned QANTAS Boeing 747s in the 1970s and is a flying tribute to mark seven decades of the Flying Kangaroo logo, which falls this month.
QANTAS Airways CEO Alan Joyce joined past and present staff and executives, Boeing executives and other guests to welcome the aircraft after it was given a water cannon salute from Air Services Australia.
The aircraft is named after former CEO James Strong. James was instrumental in the making of the modern QANTAS, including the merger with Australian Airlines.
James Strong was QANTAS CEO from 1993 to 2001 and later served on the QANTAS Board until his death in March 2013. His wife Jeanne-Claude and son Nicholas were at the hangar to christen the aircraft.
“QANTAS aircraft are traditionally named after Australian places, with the exception of our fleet of Airbus A380s, which are named for Australian aviation pioneers. We’re very proud to break with tradition to name this aircraft James Strong – another great leader of the Australian aviation industry.”
The new Boeing 737-800, the 75th of the aircraft type, will begin services across the QANTAS domestic network from next week. It is the 11th new Boeing aircraft that the QANTAS Group has taken delivery of this year.
The delivery of the “retrojet” coincides with the week of QANTAS’ 94th birthday, which was celebrated on Sunday November 16. The Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited (QANTAS) was registered as a business on November 16, 1920.
Update: VH-XZP entered revenue service on November 22, operating flight QF 611 from Brisbane to Melbourne according to Australian Aviation.
Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-838 VH-XZP (msn 44577) “James Strong” (now with a bowtie) sits proudly on the Sydney ramp.