Qantas is giving flyers a taste of the groovy days of air travel, recreating the first class lounge that was part of its 747 aircraft in the 1970s.
A sensory treat of plush purples, burnt oranges and the sort of turquoise that you just don’t see any more, the on-board lounges had a brief lifespan between 1971 and 1979, when they were scrapped to make way for business class seats.
The lounge was recreated for the airline’s latest safety video, and was officially launched today as a permanent display at the Qantas Founders’ Museum in Longreach by CEO Alan Joyce.
Mr Joyce said the lounge belonged to a different time – exemplified by the fact that Qantas back then would actually give complimentary cigarettes to first class passengers.
“We wanted to make it as realistic as possible, and even got panelling from an old Qantas 747 parked in the Mojave Desert,” Mr Joyce said.
“We took the panels out and put them into this display.”
The fabrics on the lounge chairs were made by a Geelong company in the 1970s.
“They no longer produce it, but they went back to their original designs,” Mr Joyce said.
The display marks another new attraction for the museum, which launched Luminescence Longreach – a spectacular nightly light show projected against several aircraft on site.
The spectacle launched on July 1, part of a series of events to mark the airline’s 100th birthday.
Qantas launched in 1920 but planned celebrations were put on hold because of COVID-19.
The cocktail lounge could seat 15 people and could only be accessed by a spiral staircase from the first class cabin.
Qantas was the first airline in the world to introduce business class, in 1979.