This aircraft (registration VH-X4A) is the first of 29 the Australian carrier has ordered in order to replace the ageing Boeing 717 operated by its domestic subsidiary, QantasLink.
The aircraft arrived in Honolulu on 17 December 2023 after a long ferry flight from Montréal-Mirabel airport, which involved a stop in Vancouver under flight number QJE6075. The plane is currently in Fiji and is scheduled to leave Fiji on Wednesday, 20 December, and fly to Sydney, where it will be in the early afternoon.
Qantas’ latest fleet addition will enter service shortly on the domestic trunk route between Melbourne and Canberra.
In addition to being a first for Qantas, this delivery has drawn considerable public attention because of the special livery that decorates the aircraft.
Qantas chose to celebrate the indigenous cultural heritage of Australia with a design by Pitjantjatjara artist Maringka Baker. An intricate pattern formed by 20,000 dots represents the tale of two sisters who travel back to their home across Australia’s vast expanses.
This artwork is the sixth in the “Flying Art” series, which Qantas launched in 1994, and it required around 100 painters and two weeks of work in the paint shop to complete it.