Qantas today did a ceremonial sign-over of its historic 747 aircraft VH-OJA to the Historic Aviation Restoration Society, seven days after it touched down in spectacular fashion at Illawarra Regional Airport.
Gareth Evans, CEO of Qantas International, together with the Qantas pilots that delivered the aircraft, joined thousands of locals at the HARS Open Day to host tours of the historic 747 where it featured on display for the first time.
It is the only 747-400* type of aircraft to be on public display anywhere in the world and is already proving to be a popular tourist attraction for the region, with hundreds of locals wanting to get up close and personal with the “Queen of The Skies”.
While in retirement the aircraft is also set to begin a new career as a movie star.
Qantas gets approached on a regular basis for access to its fleet for filming purposes which is challenging to facilitate with most of the aircraft in the air. Having a static 747 on display at HARS provides an opportunity to support filming requests.
Using the historic 747 as a film set, has the potential to bring a number of additional tourism benefits to the region including catering, accommodation and casting from the local area.
Qantas will facilitate a location visit as early as next month for a scout to tour the HARS facility and OJA. The museum already attracts filming interest due to its vast collection of historic aircraft and the addition of the jumbo jet will provide even further opportunities.
Gareth Evans said: “It is terrific to see OJA at her new home at HARS. It’s clear this iconic Qantas aircraft is in very good company alongside their fantastic collection of historically significant aircraft.
“We are confident the team at HARS will preserve OJA with great care for future generations of Australians, whether here at HARS or up on the big screen.”