Qantas has revealed a special livery for its newest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which honours Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
The new livery features the work of late Northern Territory artist and senior Anmatyerre woman Emily Kame Kngwarreye. It is based on her 1991 painting Yam Dreaming and has been adapted for the aircraft by Indigenous-owned design studio Balarinji.
Qantas says the artwork depicts the culturally significant yam plant, which features as an important symbol in Kngwarraeye’s Dreaming series and is a staple food source in her home region of Utopia. The aircraft will be named Emily Kame Kngwarreye in her honour.
The iconic flying kangaroo that features on Qantas aircraft has been modified for the second time in the airline’s history to form part of the livery’s design, while the trademark red tail colour has been altered to match the colour of Kngwarreye’s work.
Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Group, said the artwork is intended to encourage travellers to explore the Indigenous elements that form part of the ‘Spirit of Australia’.
Joyce commented: “As the national carrier, we’re thrilled to showcase another piece of Indigenous culture on one of our aircraft, and to reiterate our ongoing commitment to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
The Dreamliner is set for delivery in Alice Springs (230km from Kngwarreye’s home) on 2 March, where it will be welcomed by Kngwarreye’s family. It will initially be used on Qantas’s domestic network for crew familiarisation and will enter the airline’s international network from late March.