Qantas Carries Qantas Socceroos to World Cup

Melbourne, 26 May 2010

Qantas today held a special farewell ceremony for the Qantas Socceroos at Melbourne Jetbase before carrying the team to the World Cup.

Qantas CEO Mr Alan Joyce was joined by Football Federation Australia's CEO Mr Ben Buckley, Senator Mark Arbib, Minister for Employment Participation and the Hon. John Brumby Premier of Victoria to farewell Coach Pim Verbeek and the Qantas Socceroos today.

Alan Joyce said it was a proud moment for Qantas as the specially painted Socceroos Boeing 747 took off from Melbourne Airport with Coach Pim Verbeek and the Qantas Socceroos onboard.

"We were extremely excited to roll out the red carpet for our Qantas Socceroos today. We have been working towards this day since we unveiled the Qantas Socceroos Boeing 747 in October last year," said Mr Joyce.

"The aircraft has been flying around the world, rallying support for the Qantas Socceroos in the lead up to the World Cup. The aircraft operates QF163 today, a special flight from Melbourne to Johannesburg, with a flight time of 13 and a half hours.

"The flight team led by Captain Steve Warne will ensure the aircraft's very special cargo is well looked after and arrives in South Africa in peak condition."

The Qantas Socceroos are travelling together in the Business Class cabin and are joined by four prize winners who won tickets to travel with the team to South Africa.

Qantas Socceroos supporters and commercial passengers in the Economy and Premium Economy cabins will each receive a special Qantas Socceroos supporter pack, which includes a Qantas Socceroos jersey, scarf, cap and blanket.

Qantas will continue to support the Qantas Socceroos once they reach South Africa and will be flying in one of their most internationally renowned fans, Qantas Global Goodwill Ambassador John Travolta, to wish them well and support them when they take on Germany on 13 June in Durban.

- Ends -

* See below for further flight details and Qantas Socceroos South Africa Itinerary

Additional Details on QF163

* Boeing 747 painted in October last year in green and gold with the message "Qantas Socceroos - We're With You All The Way"
* Flight deck led by Captain Steve Warne. Cabin Crew led by Customer Service Manager Mr Colin Gray
* QF163 departs Melbourne Airport at 1300 hours local and arrives at 1835 hours local
* QF163 is carrying Coach Pim Verbeek, Qantas Socceroos, FFA officials and support staff, media, four prize winners and approximately 200 commercial passengers
* The winner of the four seat promotion is Mr Jean-Marie Ip Soo Ching, a teacher at Swinbourne University in Victoria. Mr Ip Soo Ching won four business class tickets to fly with the Qantas Socceroos to South Africa, return flights, accommodation for four people in Johannesburg from 26 May 2010 - 3 June 2010, an opportunity for four people to meet the players at their preparation camp in Johannesburg, and four (4) tickets to the Qantas Socceroos first warm-up game in Johannesburg
* QF163 will also carry the Qantas giant scarf to South Africa which was presented to the Qantas Socceroos at the farewell match against New Zealand on Monday night. Since the Qantas Scarf of Support campaign was launched last month, Qantas has collected almost 7,000 messages, each contributing 10cm to the scarf so a 700 metre scarf has been sent off to South Africa with the team where it will be rolled out during pre-match activities, including their training camps and warm-up matches acting as a reminder of Australia's support
* Qantas has made an A3 size book with all the messages so far, which totals 190 pages of messages. Qantas will also provide the team with cards so they can each read the messages of support on the flight over.

South Africa Itinerary

Qantas Socceroos v Denmark
Saturday 1 June 2010
Ruimsig Stadium, Roodepoort, South Africa
Kick-Off time: 2:00pm SAST (10:30pm AEST)

Qantas Socceroos v USA
Saturday 5 June 2010
Ruimsig Stadium, Roodepoort, South Africa
Kick-Off time: 2:30pm SAST (10:30pm AEST)

2010 FIFA World Cup(tm) - Group D
Germany v Australia
Sunday 13 June 2010
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Kick-Off time: 8:30pm SAST (4:30am AEST)

Ghana v Australia
Saturday 19 June 2010
Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
Kick-Off time: 4:00pm SAST (12:00am AEST)

Australia v Serbia
Wednesday 23 June 2010
Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-Off time: 8:30pm SAST (4:30am AEST)

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (4072)