Featuring the roaring ’60s, a lavish lounge dedicated to smoking and a snippet of cabin crew sporting ’80s mullets, the new Qantas in-flight safety video is an elaborate production showing just how much flying has changed over the past 100 years.
The airline’s 8-minute 20-second production, which was the result of more than 12 months’ production followed by three weeks of filming, takes a playful, albeit historic look at how Australia’s largest carrier has evolved since the 1920s.
Using exact replicas of original cabins, uniforms and aircraft, the video features iconic aviation milestones to create a 100-year timelapse from the 1920s to present day.
“This safety video is a look back at the different styles of aircraft, service and uniforms that have been part of our long history,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.
“And it calls out the contribution Qantas and its people have made to aviation, like the invention of the slide raft, as well as the national carrier’s role in connecting Australia to the world.”
The video, delivered by current Qantas crew – as well as Alastair Fysh, the grandson of Qantas co-founder Sir Hudson Fysh – used uniforms, 50 wigs and 30 moustaches sourced from various op shops around the country.
The video will be seen by the airline’s 55 million passengers and, if history is anything to go by, will likely go viral on social media as well.
In 2017, Qantas’ safety video received more than 90 million views across in-flight and social media platforms.
In 2018, the airline moved away from using famous Australian icons to grab flyers’ attention and instead took a playful look at Aussies’ reputation for making cultural faux pas while travelling.
But the 2020 video – the first for the airline in 18 months – focuses primarily the airline’s 100-year history rather than destinations around the world.
“It’s really a tribute to a century of our people, the changing styles and our innovation,” Mr Joyce said. “The one thing that has never changed is our commitment to safety.”
To create the scenes, each aircraft cabin used inspiration based on the photographs and details from the Qantas Heritage collection.
One of the standout scenes is the 1970s’ 747 lounge, which addresses smoking on board Qantas aircraft today.
According to the airline, Qantas commissioned Instyle Interior Finishes to produce a bespoke replica of the vibrant colours and patterns of the furniture synonymous with the era.
Curiously, the video cuts to a scene of the on-board business lounge – which allowed passengers to drink and smoke and was a common cabin feature at the time – but completely anachronistic in today’s world.
Featuring purple lounges, an ashtray and passengers enjoying drinks while reaching for cigarettes, the scene reminds viewers of how much flying has changed in the past 50 years.
In Australia, the smoking ban kicked in earlier on domestic flights, which was no longer allowed on December 1, 1987, making Australia the first country to implement a ban. A ban on international flights followed in 1990, a few months after the US domestic ban.
In October 1994 the Federal Government announced that smoking would be banned on all Australian international flights from July 1996, making Qantas and Ansett smoke-free on all flights.
The new safety video will screen on all Qantas international and domestic flights from March 1, 2020.