So there it is. Just as we expected and reported speculation on a few weeks back has materialized – we’re seeing a new take on the iconic Flying Kangaroo take to the skies.
It’s always big news in the commercial aviation industry when a rather conservative airline such as Qantas makes changes to their livery – after all, they’ve only done it five times in their rich 95 year history, making them one of the oldest airlines flying today. Of late, the airline seems to have taken the opportunity to use the launch of a new ‘flagship’ fleet type to make subtle changes to their famous Kangaroo logo.The last time QF did something similar was in 2007 at the launch of A380 operations. To that point, Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce had this to say:
When we looked at the history, we found that the logo has been updated around the time of a game-changing new aircraft joining the fleet. It’s a tradition that goes back to the Lockheed Constellation in 1947, the B747-300 in 1984 and the A380 in 2007. A fresh brand helps symbolise the new era Qantas is entering as we head towards our centenary. It’s an era of new destinations, new technology and a new standard of service.
The key word here is subtle – the airline is hesitant to change too much off their extremely strong brand identity given that even the layman knows the moment they see the logo that it’s a Qantas plane.So why change something if it isn’t broken, right?
It’s also a testament to the fact that the airline has never had a hull loss or a fatality on one of their aircraft in nearly 100 years of operations (making them the ‘safest’ airline in the world if you go by ratio, by the way). They also are amongst the best airlines in the world in terms of their overall product rather consistently, offering a solid, consistent if not over the top product throughout their network. There’s a level of trust once the public sees that Flying Kangaroo whizz by and get ready to take them to places far flung.
And you can’t really buy marketing like that.
So as expected, while changes were made, they were minor enhancements to the current logo and it looks something like this, per the official Qantas press release:
As you can see it’s really just changing and adding minor ‘toppings’ here and there – for us the most significant change would be the main font on the fuselage and the added stylization of the Kangaroo on the tail. Other subtle nuances such as adding the retro vintage Kangaroo under the flight deck windows and adding the Kangaroo logo on the engines and on the wingtips show the great level of thought and detail that Qantas put into this project.
For a point of comparison, here’s the look of Qantas and how it has evolved through the decades:
As we had previously speculated, Qantas will be introducing a new long haul business class product on the 787 fleet which are near identical to their updated A330 fleet – QF will finally offer direct aisle access to all passengers via a rather classy oak wood and dark grey based color scheme in Business and Economy class.
Here’s a photo recap from our previous post on the hard product in the new Business Class:
Other good news is that it seems Qantas has decided to go premium heavy for their 787-9 configuration – while originally rumored to be at around 270 seats, the official release keeps the seat count at 236. Great news for redemption driven folks especially because the addition of seats are actually mostly in the Business and Premium Economy cabin.
It’s not yet certain where the new planes will fly, but some of the rumors floating around the aviation community is that it will likely replace an existing 747 route. Beyond that, some have floated a potential new route opening as well, starting with:
- Sydney – Chicago
- Sydney – Paris
- Melbourne – Dallas
- Melbourne – Rome
- Brisbane – Dallas
- Perth – London
It’s all speculation at this point, but if we were to guess a direct link from Australia to the United Kingdom is probably high on Qantas’ list – especially to be the first airline to do so on a consistent commercial basis. And the economics of the 787-9 would allow QF to fly it and fly it profitably. Let’s see how it all pans out.
So our thought process on this one is fairly simple. Hard product reality wise, it’s a fantastic upgrade on what is currently out there from Qantas, especially in Business Class where your seatmate still needs to climb over you to get to the bathroom mid-flight, middle of the night. It’ll be nice to see this concept spread to the rest of the main fleet on the A380 and perhaps even on the B747.
In terms of the logo itself, well – I like it! It’s clean, it’s sharp – it’s on the conservative side without being stuffy and it’s not trying to be something it’s not. I would have been gutted had QF tried (read: tried) to emulate Virgin Australia’s more hip and trendy branding. It just wouldn’t have worked. Qantas stuck with what has become one of the most iconic airline images in history and has continued to tweak it to keep it current. When you have such a strong brand and reputation as Qantas does, that’s what you’ve go to do in our opinion – nurture it and build on it…but most importantly, let it evolve with the times yet at the same time keep it timeless.