Qantas has launched a campaign to get Aussies naming the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and yes, vegemite is a hot contender.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who recently copped a pie to the face before suing the political protester, said there’s a longstanding tradition of getting all sentimental and coming up with symbolic names for aircrafts.
“Whether it’s a notable person, a ground breaking invention, a saying, or a landmark – we want eight icons that, together, reflect the depth and breadth of this place we all call home,” he said.
“And we want Australians to help us choose the names. They can be people, places or things, so long as they reflect the true Spirit of Australia.”
Suggestions so far include lamington, Don Bradman, Bondi Beach, or badagarang, a word for kangaroo in the Dharug language of the Eora nation.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, Hills Hoist, Uluru and even Vegemite are also rumoured to be among the suggestions.
Kicking off yesterday, Aussies will be able to enter up to eight different names, one for each of the 787s, by clicking here, with entries to close on Friday 26 May.
A shortlist of 24 will then be released with the public asked to vote for their favourites before the final eight are revealed.
For reference, Qantas in the past has named its planes based on capital cities, Aussie birds, aviation pioneers and Australian towns.
The tradition started back in the earliest days of our national carrier. In the 1920s, three of the first aircraft – small props that flew mail runs across outback Queensland – were given the names of Perseus, Pegasus and Iris.
Qantas’ 737-400s (the last of which was retired in 2014) were named after Australian birds – lorikeet, kookaburra, brolga…you get the idea).
The 737-800s, which today do the bulk of our domestic flying, are named after Australian towns (Tamworth, Port Douglas, Oodnaddatta). The exception are the 737s dedicated to flying between Australia and New Zealand, which are mostly named for prominent Kiwis (like Sir Edmund Hillary).
So what will you be suggesting?