Australians have helped Qantas raise more than $114,000 for the Western Queensland Drought Appeal, funding the coordination and distribution of much needed drought relief across the Longreach region.
Qantas yesterday operated a one-off charity flight from Sydney to the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach, using its ‘Retro Roo’ aircraft in 70s livery. Passengers got into the 70s spirit with retro outfits, a special Neil Perry-designed menu and cocktails, and entertainment from some musical icons of the era.
The initiative comes in the lead up to Qantas’ 95th birthday next month and was aimed at supporting the community that gave wings to Qantas almost a century ago.
Leo Sayer provided the pre-flight entertainment in the Qantas Business Lounge, while Glenn Shorrock belted out Little River Band classics at the Qantas Founders Museum.
QantasLink CEO John Gissing said the national carrier was proud to lend its support to a region it first called home in the 1920s.
“Qantas’ roots in Longreach are deeper than in any other part of Australia – and there has never been a more important time for us to give back to this wonderful community,” Mr Gissing said.
“We know these are difficult times for Longreach and we’re committed to playing our part to help both through this charity flight and through ongoing support for the local tourism industry.”
Western Queensland Drought Appeal Chairman Mr David Phelps said Qantas’ support would help farmers and landowners in the region.
“Qantas has shown their true spirit today. They have shown they are still very much a part of the outback communities where Qantas began, by generously raising money to help farmers battling drought. We are very thankful for this donation to our cause, and for Qantas’ ongoing support of tourism and essential air travel in western Queensland,” said Mr Phelps.
The Retro Roo charity flight was made possible by Caltex and Air BP who donated fuel, Sydney and Longreach Airports who waived landing fees and Qantas cabin and flight crew who donated their time to operate the flight.
Passengers paid $737 each for a seat on the service and bid for a number of auction items, with all proceeds from both the flight itself and the in-flight auction going directly to the Appeal.