QantasLink Q400 Takes Taronga Western Plains Zoo to the Skies

Sydney, 01 November 2010

A QantasLink Bombardier Q400 aircraft showcasing the images of Taronga Western Plains Zoo animals was welcomed to the airline's fleet today to help promote regional tourism.

The Bombardier Q400 aircraft in its wildlife livery was launched at a special debut event at the Qantas Jet Base at Mascot that included a visit by Taronga's wildlife outreach ZooMobile and the animals that help Zoo educators teach communities about the needs of wildlife.

QantasLink Executive Manager, Narendra Kumar, said: "As Australia's largest regional airline, covering 54 destinations across all states and territories, QantasLink is embedded in regional Australia and have a strong understanding of what remarkable tourist destinations and experiences are available right across the country".

"This includes Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo. We are excited to see one of our premium 74-seat Q400 aircraft ready to fly in this special safari livery, and even more excited to have the opportunity to take it around Australia to promote the Zoo as one of our great regional destinations."

Taronga's Director and Chief Executive, Cameron Kerr, said: "These striking images of giraffe and rhinoceros will be seen across QantasLink's regional network from today marking the commencement of a joint regional tourism promotion with Tourism NSW."

"This initiative by the Zoo and QantasLink to highlight the remarkable animals and conservation work of Taronga Western Plains Zoo at Dubbo in NSW's Orana region is a novel approach to connecting people with the growing opportunities for wildlife tourism in regional Australia."

"By using an aircraft as a flying canvas, a simple yet intriguing message will travel to communities around Australia. It is fundamentally an invitation to discover the wonders of wildlife in one of Australia's premier open range zoos and to do so with the travel convenience of Qantas' comprehensive regional airline network."

Minister for Tourism, Jodi McKay said tourism makes a significant contribution to the local economy.

"Taronga Western Plains Zoo is a significant contributor to the local tourism, and the Zoo-themed Qantas plane will help the region to capitalise on the popularity of the Zoo's conservation-based programs as a way to encourage visitors to the region," she said.

"The plane is a unique and exciting addition to the joint Tourism NSW and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Zoofari campaign which aims to boost visitor numbers to the Zoo over the summer months."

QantasLink operates 50 return services each week between Sydney and Dubbo, providing easy access to Taronga Western Plains Zoo's famous Zoofari Lodge wildlife Safari experience, along with access to the Orana region's many attractions.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (5026)