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Qantas reveals plane names. Why so tame?

June 23, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

Qantas customers will soon take to the skies on Waltzing Matilda, Boomerang and Quokka – three of the winning names for the airline’s new fleet of eight B787-9 Dreamliners.

The choice, resulting from a public quest, leaves critics wondering what happened to the wilder names, the sort of stuff that gives Australia a reputation for being a bit zany, creative and left field.

More than 60,000 suggestions were put forward and 45,000 votes cast in selecting the names of the planes that will fly routes including Perth to London and Melbourne to Los Angeles, Qantas announced.

Quokka sniffs out Qantas

So what happened to Vegemite? The yeast-flavoured extract even made it onto the Qantas shortlist – only to disappear, wiped away on the morning toast.

David Boon missed out too, despite strong popular support. Former test cricketer Boonie is renowned for a legendary, though disputed, in-flight drinking feat. He is said to have downed 52 beers on a flight to London. Cheers! But Boon never made the shortlist.

Other suggestions that somehow disappeared or failed to gain enough support included Anzac, Planey McPlaneface, Kookaburra and Slim Dusty. And what happened to Stone the Crows Mate, Fair Crack of the Whip Sport, and Fair Suck of the Saveloy? Were they ever there at all?

Here are the winners:

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Boomerang
  • Skippy
  • Waltzing Matilda
  • Uluru
  • Great Southern Land
  • Quokka
  • Dreamtime

Which one of those really makes you stand up and take notice?

Aussie thongs

Names on the shortlist were:

  • Boomerang
  • Cooee
  • Don Bradman
  • Dreamtime
  • Evonne Goolagong
  • Fred Hollows
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Great Ocean Road
  • Great Southern Land
  • Jillaroo
  • Joan Sutherland
  • Jumbuck
  • Kokoda
  • Kookaburra
  • Quokka
  • Skippy
  • True Blue
  • Uluru
  • Vegemite
  • Waltzing Matilda

This is from a country that once boasted a lingo full of colourful idioms. Phrases like “strike a light” or “may your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny door down” or “four kangaroos loose in the top paddock”.

Then again, do you really want to call an aeroplane that? And besides, some customers may want it translated into Chinese.

“We had so many worthwhile entries, we could have probably renamed our entire fleet of 208 aircraft,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce rejoiced.

“There were some clear favourites and it’s given us a good mix of names for our eight Dreamliners, from landmarks to native animals, literature and Indigenous heritage.

“We know people get a real sense of home when they see the flying kangaroo at airports around the world, and hopefully they’ll enjoy seeing these uniquely Australian names as well.”

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    I was going to say why the heck would we want to name our planes after an American owned brand like Vegemite, when, in doing my research, I discovered that as of Jan this year Vegemite has been bought back by Bega Cheese Company and thus is back in Aussie hands. You little beauty! Carn The Vegie!

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