Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

IDEAS: Qantas’ New Airbus A220 Tells a Story Through Aboriginal Livery

3 months ago

Qantas has unveiled the livery of its first QantasLink Airbus A220, which will be the sixth aircraft to feature in its Flying Art Series when it comes into service as part of the group’s domestic fleet renewal program.

The QantasLink A220 livery at the Airbus facility in Canda.
Credit: Qantas

The aircraft features the Aboriginal artwork of senior Pitjantjatjara artist, Maringka Baker, and tells the ‘dreaming story of two sisters who traverse remote Australia together, covering vast distances to find their way home,’ according to a release from the carrier.

Qantas has worked with Indigenous Australian design agency, Balarinji on the fuselage design for all of its aircrafts featured in the Flying Art Series, with this design featuring over 20,000 dots taking a team of 100 painters two weeks to complete.

The aircraft has also been given the name ‘Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa’ – which translates to ‘The Two Sisters Creation Story’ – that was inspired by the artwork.

The aircraft, which is currently at Airbus’ facility in Mirabel, Canada, is due to arrive in Australia before the end of 2023.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Alaska Airlines Unveils Disney Inspired Aircraft, ‘Mickey’s Toontown Express’

4 months ago

Alaska Airlines has unveiled its latest Disney themed aircraft, aptly named ‘Mickey’s Toontown Express,’ which has been inspired by Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland Park.

Alaska Airlines Mickey’s Toontown Disney Livery launch
Credit: Joe Nicholson / Alaska Airlines

The Boeing 737-800, which is now flying routes across Alaska’s network, features Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck, and saw artists spend 400 hours hand-painting the design onto the aircraft exterior.

Take a look at the time lapse showing the painting process below:

According to a release from Alaska Airlines, this is the eighth livery the carrier has created in collaboration with Disneyland Resorts, and will also see a selection of Disney themed activity books and snack packs offered on board, while supplies last.

Joe Nicholson / Alaska Airlines

“It’s heartening how much our Disneyland Resort-themed airplanes spark joy in our guests — young and young at heart. What makes this even more special is the return of Mickey Mouse on an Alaska Airlines plane since he made his debut on our fleet eight years ago,” said Sangita Woerner, Alaska’s senior vice-president of marketing and guest experience.

“Alaska’s long-standing relationship with the Disneyland Resort has helped to create unforgettable experiences for our guests and employees. As a family-friendly airline, it speaks to the care we strive to show everyday with these special touches.”


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

Tony Fernandes Steps Down as Acting Group CEO of AirAsia X

1 year ago

Tony Fernandes has stepped down as the acting group CEO of Capital A’s long-haul budget carrier AirAsia X citing “other commitments,” the airline announced in a note to investors on Monday.

“I’m now going to focus on delivering significant value to shareholders of Capital A, including the AirAsia Aviation Group, aviation services, logistics, travel, fintech and the e-commerce lifestyle platform,” Fernandes said in a press statement.

Having served as the non-independent non-executive director of AirAsia X, Fernandes stepped in to the role of acting group CEO in July this year.

Mahmood Fawzy has now been appointed as the independent non-executive director of Thai AirAsia X.

AirAsia X had entered a court-overseen debt restructuring process during the pandemic. The airline completed the debt restructuring in March.

Fernandes, in a press statement, mentioned that his job had been to restart AirAsia X and bring it back to profitability and growth after the hibernation. “I am happy that this has been accomplished with a very edifying plan for 20 aircraft for the AirAsia XGroup — 13 aircraft for AirAsia X and seven for Thai AirAsia X.”

He went on to note that following the restructuring the airline has improved the cost structure, and created a cargo business, which has contributed about 20 percent to the airline’s revenue during the pandemic and will continue to play a vital role in its recovery.

The airline in a statement in August had noted that it would be ramping up flight frequencies and would return to daily services to most destinations before 2023, with optimised aircraft utilisation of 15 hours by December.