Qantas has given its famed kangaroo logo on the tail of its planes a makeover with help from designer Marc Newson.
The change, just the fifth since it first appeared eight decades ago in 1944, is part of a more general refresh of the airline’s look 12 months out from the arrival of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner – and nearly a decade since the last update.
Qantas says the new roo is more streamlined and simplified “for a cleaner, more modern look”. It’s also less immediately recognisable as a kangaroo, although the airline says shading has been added “to give it a sense of depth and movement”.
But in a nod to history, Qantas is bringing back the winged kangaroo logo that first appeared in the 1960s and lasted three decades, putting it under the cockpit window with the aircraft name.
The overall look of the planes has also been given a refresh, as set out in the image below – cleverly for the Instagram era, Qantas plans to get a little product placement into the shots by adding the kangaroo logo to the inside curved edge of the wingtips, so it appears in shots taken out the window.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the new design symbolises a new era for the airline, which has seen a dramatic $4.3 billion turnaround in its fortunes in the last two years, a record full year underlying profit of $1.53 billion in FY16.
“It’s an era of new destinations, new technology and a new standard of service,” Joyce said.
“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.”
The new branding, which also includes a slimmer, lighter version of “Qantas” printed on the side of the planes will be rolled out over the next three years to be completed in time for the airline’s centenary in 2020.
Joyce also offered a sneak peek at the high-tech chairs that will feature onboard its flagship 787-9 Dreamliners next year.
Most importantly, the economy seats will have more room – including an extra inch of seat pitch compared with the A380, including a personal device holder and USB ports; more storage areas; a seat-back mood lighting; and a 5% larger entertainment touchscreen. It will also have an updated version of the “footnet” on the A380, designed to cradle the legs during sleep.