Qantas (as usual) came to the party in a big way! Dressing up VH-OEJ in a wonderful Olympic livery to collect the Australian Athletes from Rio.
Some images were released through social media, but not the entire aircraft... And then OEJ suited up for a quick SYD-SFO return flight prior to the big job. QF73 departed Sydney a little late, but in perfect conditions for photography (See below) ..Alas, the journey did not go completely to plan. OEJ required a cockpit window to be replaced upon arrival in SFO, and (I'm led to understand) that the replacement was sourced from Paris, which of course took time.
Unfortunately this meant that it missed it's return slot, and wouldn't make it to Rio in time to collect the Australian Athletes. VH-OEG stepped in and got the job done.
In a way, the Flying Kangaroo is as much a symbol of Australia as Vegemite! And Qantas' proud logo will always look the part when engaging in public relations. So i'm sure nobody in the Olympic party minded which aircraft collected them. Red Tail and White Kangaroo = Home!
The sheer fact that (yet again) Qantas was prepared to sticker one if it's own aircraft, in support of Australia's commitment to Sport shows how deeply engrained QF have become with our image around the world. Bravo QF!