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Qantas takes delivery of Indigenous flying art 737

written by WOFA | November 9, 2013


Qantas has formally taken delivery of 737-838 VH-XZJ Mendoowoorrji, featuring the airline’s fourth Indigenous Flying Art paint scheme.

Handed over in Seattle on Friday, VH-XZJ is Qantas’s 69th 737-800 and features a scheme based on Paddy Bedford’s 2005 painting Medicine Pocket, which is a representation of the Mendoowoorrjji country in the East Kimberly region of Western Australia. Like the other aircraft in the Indigenous Art series, the scheme was developed in partnership with the Balarinji Design Studio.

“In our studio’s 30th year, it is a privilege to once again work with Qantas on an iconic Indigenous art aircraft. We applaud Qantas for the leadership in supplier diversity and reconciliation,” Balarinji managing director Ros Moriarty said.

The 737 had earlier this month been spotted at Boeing Field wearing its distinct paint scheme. It is due to touch down in Sydney at the end of its delivery flight on Monday morning.

Qantas 737 Special Aboriginal Art Livery Paint Hangar Roll out


  • Des


    No offence to the designers but it’s too tame, too discrete. It should look more like Wanula Dreaming (the red 747). Wanula Dreaming was a fabulous piece of artwork in itself and quintessentially Aboriginal. It sent their art all around the world.

  • Andre


    Art is subjective….I like it!

    The key thing here to remember is that QANTAS are acknowledging the first peoples of our land, and as such, should be applauded for building bridges. Well done!

  • Dan


    It looks very bland. In my mind it does not even come close to comparing with Wunala, Nalanji or Yananyi.

  • Damian


    I would have thought that the first thing to do when the decision was made to paint-up this aircraft was to select a design-inspiration that easily lent itself to adaptation to the 737-800 ‘canvas’. No offence to the original design or painting but (to me atleast) it doesn’t appear to be something easily adaptable to an aircraft. Perhaps they could have chosen another inspiration or adapted this inspiration to suit the 737. To me (and I’m sure a lot of observers) this design only looks ‘half done’ – like the forward fuselage is still a work in progress (??).

  • Claudio


    I think they should paint the whole fleet in a different scheme and have only one plane from each type as the standard red and white scheme

  • Ante C


    I don’t like it. I have to agree with Dan that the others are much better. I like some colour as well- black and white doesn’t look so attractive.

  • Ashton D


    I find it inspiring that Qantas is not only thinking of themselves as an airline but also a representation of the people of Australia, hence the words “Spirit of Australians” that is scribed next to Qantas on most of their fleet. Sure this new livery may look “Bland” and “unattractive” but if you think about it, the aboriginal people actually painted stories not just some paint on a canvas. The paintings may tell stories about their past and may carry many emotions. This new livery will have a meaning to someone, somewhere. This is qantas respecting the past, present and future of aboriginal people in Australia. Well done Qantas!

  • Razza


    Well that is a bit of a let down, how about a retrojet with the 70’s colour scheme?

  • Chris


    I think it is great. It fits with the newer Kangaroo and the colours match the Qantas logo and theme. It is modern and good that they have done something different compared to the previous 2 747s and 1 737 that were painted with an aboriginal design.

    I think it does suit the 737 very well. And I like that they put the flag next to the door at the front too.

    Great job Qantas!

  • Dafydd


    Is it me or does the tail look a darker red too?

  • Spencer Ferrier


    No, Dafydd, you don’t look any darker red than ususal.

  • Trev


    I like the scheme as it is a departure from the other schemes in being a more subtle design while still being effective in its intent.

    In regards to a retro scheme as suggested by Razza. Before the 747 is retired I would love to see a 747-400 in either a full retro Qantas 747 scheme or have one side of the fuselage painted in the retro scheme with the other side in the latest Qantas scheme as a tribute to the past and present of Qantas 747 operations. Just a thought.

  • Claudio


    I wasn’t that excited about this latest aboriginal scheme at first and thought why bother ? as it doesn’t look too different from the regular QANTAS livery but it has grown on me , its just a little more subtle than the previous three schemes , art is subjective and I do appreciate it now , I think its commendable that QANTAS are showcasing to the rest of the world the rich , and ancient culture that this continent has contained for thousands of years , the oldest continuous living culture with at least 40,000 years of known existence , no other continent can claim that and I think all Australians can feel a sense of pride about it . I think a retro scheme would be great too probably the old Vjet scheme looks the best , but then J Travolta does have that scheme on the 707 he owns , but would be good to see one regularly flying in OZ

  • David



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