Qantas’s Boeing 737-800 retrojet headed to Longreach over the weekend as part of a charity flight raising funds for drought affected Western Queensland.
The ‘Retro Roo’, VH-XZP, touched down at Longreach just after 1000 local time on Saturday carrying a full load of 168 passengers who each paid $737 for the day trip from Sydney to the airline’s the spiritual home and the location of the Qantas Founders Museum.
The airline said the initiative raised $114,000 for the Western Queensland Drought Appeal.
“Qantas’s roots in Longreach are deeper than in any other part of Australia – and there has never been a more important time for us to give back to this wonderful community,” QantasLink chief executive said John Gissing said in a statement.
“We know these are difficult times for Longreach and we’re committed to playing our part to help both through this charity flight and through ongoing support for the local tourism industry.”
Qantas said its cabin crew and pilots donated their time to operate the flight, while Sydney Airport and Longreach Airport waived landing fees and Caltex and Air BP provided the fuel for free.
Western Queensland Drought Appeal chairman David Phelps said the local community was thankful for Qantas’s efforts to help farmers and landowners suffering from the drought.
“Qantas has shown their true spirit today,” Phelps said.
Some scenes from Longreach taken by photographer Dave Parer:
The Retro Roo meets a couple of vintage Qantas aircraft at the Qantas Founders Museum. (Dave Parer)
People milling around the Qantas retrojet at Longreach Airport. (Dave Parer)
Qantas staff get into the spirit of things at the airline’s charity flight to Longreach. (Dave Parer)
And any celebration needs cake. (Dave Parer)
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