Retro Roo

Retro Roo II

Red roo

Australian Capital Territory
13 Aug 2017

Retro roo

All the times I’ve packed and left for a long trip, you’d think it would be routine. But every time, I feel a pang as I walk out the door and into the often soul-less world of travel.

Our trip to Greece was no exception. Once the Uber dropped us off at Canberra Airport, we had about thirty-six hours sealed inside aircraft, air terminals, and buses, trapped on a travelator. All of it in Economy seats, with no lounge access.

So it was a small joy to see a touch of quirk. Our first leg was Qantas, Canberra to Melbourne, and here was the Qantas Boeing painted to look like a jetliner of a bygone age. When Qantas took delivery of their first jet aircraft, a Boeing 707, in 1959, I was a child, and air travel was reserved for the rich and famous, pretty much.

Retro Roo II
As a salute to 95 years of operation, Qantas had taken one of their current fleet of Boeings and painted it in that same livery. Still fitted out with all the modern conveniences inside, but from the outside, it was a welcome touch of whimsy.

We stepped aboard our flight to Melbourne with smiles on our faces. In a day and a half, we’d be zombies struggling to stay awake, but for now, we were good and the world was our oyster.

I’ve seen a few “special livery” airliners. Air New Zealand does some rippers, with scenes for Lord of the Rings on the side. What ones stick in your mind?

Retro Roo II



  1. I’ve actually never seen any special livery in person. One that sticks out is the one that you mentioned, where Air NZ decked out one of their planes with Lord of the Rings scenes, and then flew low over the world premier of Return of the King in Wellington. Of course, I wasn’t there, but it was on the special features disc. I’m sure it was awesome to see!

    1. New Zealand went all out for that event. Downtown Wellington had huge statues of the characters adorning various buildings, and special postage stamps were issued. I was actually in town a day or so after the launch and the place was crazy for the movie. You could buy Orcburgers and stuff.

  2. I don’t recall ever seeing any other special livery other than the LOTR when that was going on. I really dig the retro look of these planes though.

  3. No, I’ve never seen a special livery airliners but watching the photo on the web I have noticed that maybe I saw one of them…
    Air New Zealand had a great idea to put the scenes of Lord of the Rings, so amazing 🙂

    1. Not all sitting in airline seat, thank goodness. But still, being in the plastic world of terminals and taxis and standing in queues doesn’t really help with reducing stress.

  4. I need to pay better attention. With kids in tow I’ve not seen any of these “special liveries” either. It might be a fun thing for the kids to look for too. It would certainly keep them occupied for a few minutes!

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