Australia’s Qantas is to celebrate its centenary in 2020 and as British Airways have shown recently, painting aircraft in a past livery has proven to be popular.

Things may be a little different down under though, as two aircraft already fly in their main past two jet liveries. However, there is an untapped area, so perhaps this will be what they decide to do.

Current Retro Liveries

Two Boeing 737-838s are painted up in the previous jet era colours of Qantas. The second one to debut actually has the original 1959 scheme introduced with the Boeing 707-138.

Featuring the livery introduced in 1971 with the Boeing 747-238B, the first one to debut has the ochre and red colours which are designed to depict Australia’s landscape.

Both of them look excellent and are real head turners when they pull up to the gate. I was lucky enough to fly on the 1959 version from Cairns to Sydney one time.

Possible Ideas For The Centenary

Historically, Qantas had no domestic network, a bit like Pan American in the United States. The Government owned both the international carrier, Qantas and its domestic counterpart, Australian Airlines. They were merged in the early 1990s.

This airline was called Trans-Australia Airlines or TAA for most of its history, from 1946 to 1986 to be exact. Above is a Boeing 727-76 in the second jet livery. Now that would look great on a Boeing 737!

Another two that may be candidates are the blue and orange camel hump colours on the Boeing 727 in the foreground, or perhaps even the Australian Airlines scheme introduced in 1986.

Overall Thoughts

Australians generally know their aviation, so bringing back the TAA colours for the centenary would bring back a lot of memories. Since they will be flying domestically, it would be appropriate.

Of course, Qantas could go and paint up some of their international aircraft in the older colours too. It’s a shame the Boeing 747-400s are being withdrawn in 2020, as seeing one of those in the original 1971 flying kangaroo colours would be pretty sweet.

What do you think Qantas will do for their centenary? Will they paint some aircraft in retro liveries or not? Any you’d like to see? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by clipperarctic via Wikimedia Commons.
Qantas 1959 livery via Qantas
Qantas 1971 livery by Damien Aiello at via Wikimedia Commons.
TAA blue livery by David Pryde at via Wikimedia Commons.
TAA and Australian Airlines image by RuthAS via Wikimedia Commons.