Davey the quokka from WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo shares a laugh with Qantas flight attendant Kersha Johnson. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
Davey the quokka from WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo shares a laugh with Qantas flight attendant Kersha Johnson. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Qantas announces winning names for new Dreamliners

AUSTRALIA'S most famous bush kangaroo will grow wings next year - when Qantas sends Skippy into the sky on the side of a new 787 Dreamliner.

The cute star of the long-running television series has been revealed as one of the eight "Australian icons" to be honoured as the names of the latest Qantas fleet.

Travellers can also look forward to boarding the flying "quokka", taking off on the "boomerang" or getting airborne with "Waltzing Matilda".

More than 60,000 name suggestions were received by the airline, which will start taking delivery of the 787-9s later this year.

The subsequent shortlist of 24 names was then presented to the public, and 45,000 votes cast.

In addition to Skippy, quokka, boomerang and Waltzing Matilda, other winners were The Great Barrier Reef and Uluru, along with Dreamtime and Great Southern Land.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the public response to the challenge of naming the aircraft after things that captured the spirit of Australia was fantastic.

"We had so many worthwhile entries, we could have probably renamed our entire fleet of 208 aircraft," Mr Joyce said.

"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."

Those that did not make the final cut included Vegemite, Evonne Goolagong and Donald Bradman, while Qantas discounted the more humorous "yeah nah", "chiko roll" and "Kingswood" at an earlier stage.

The names will be painted beneath the cockpit window on each aircraft but we won't find out which name the first 787 will be branded with until it arrives down under in October.

"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," said Mr Joyce.

Tourism Australia Managing Director John O'Sullivan congratulated Qantas on the name choices.

"The Reef and the Rock, our native animals and Indigenous heritage play such an important part in the promotion of Australia overseas, I think it's great that Qantas has decided to feature so many great examples in naming their new Dreamliner fleet," said Mr O'Sullivan.

"These are all names that connect with and capture what is so unique and distinctive about our country."

The tradition of naming aircraft dates back to 1926 when Qantas christened its De Havilland fleet with figures from Greek mythology.

Today, Qantas aircraft bear much more patriotic titles including Australian capital cities, towns and major centres, aviation pioneers and native birds.

News Corp Australia

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