‘The kangaroo gets a new look and passengers get more choice: Qantas gets ready for its new A380’
LEAD STORY – DATELINE: Sydney Morning Herald, July 25, 2007
When most people think about a Qantas airplane, a big white kangaroo on a red background pops into their minds. For 60 years Qantas and the flying kangaroo have jointly flown the skies. But the kangaroo is about to get a fashion makeover – costing Qantas about $5 million and taking about 6 years to update all 188 planes in the Qantas fleet. The new logo, a white roo on a red background looks almost identical yet took Hans Hulsbosch, its designer, over one month and 200 attempts.
So why the change? The new logo was needed to accommodate Qantas’ newest acquisition – the 450 seat Airbus A380. The plane’s shape, including a new no-paint- allowed carbon-fibre panel, meant that if the current logo had been overlaid, the kangaroo would have lost its feet – effectively grounding the flying kangaroo! Reviews were mixed at the new logo’s launch. Australian artist Ken Done, not a fan of the roo’s new giant feet, commented ‘This is one of the most distinctive symbols in the airline business; and to represent a country. You fiddle [with it] at your own risk.’
Along with the new logo, Qantas unveiled a new class of ticket for the A380 – premium economy. The seats offer more width and leg room but with a heftier price tag. For example, a Sydney to London return ticket would cost about half the price of a business class ticket but more than a regular economy ticket. For travellers on a budget, this means that there will be proportionately fewer economy tickets.
If premium economy doesn’t suit, you might like to try the first class suite. Relax in a programmable armchair with a massage function, sheepskin overlay and fitted cotton sheet is the massage makes you sleepy. Each booth contains a leather ottoman with its own seatbelt so that two people can dine in privacy, enjoying Chef Neil Perry’s specially commissioned eight-course menu. When it’s time for lights out, men can slip into Akira Isogawa pyjamas and women Collette Dinnegan pyjamas. The entertainment on offer – more than 1000 movies, television programs and games, all on demand – is billed as a world first. And if you just can’t bear to be offline, each seat has Internet connections, USB ports and power outlets so you can wile away the hours listening to online lectures from Harvard University or keeping in touch with the office. And if staring out the window isn’t interesting enough, you can watch the aircraft’s take-off and landing from an external nose camera.
If this all sounds enticing, you have until August 2008 to save up for what will undoubtedly be the even heftier price tag of the first class suite.
Talking it over and thinking it through
1. How might Qantas have used research into social class in their A380 decisions?
2. Who do you think might purchase the new premium economy tickets – why? Who do you think might purchase the new first class suite tickets – why?
3. Why do you think the new logo is so close in design to the old logo?
SOURCE: Linton Besser, ‘Qantas roo stirs the possum’, Sydney Morning Herald, July 25, 2007 (accessed online).