Australian airline Qantas is tapping into the trend for using art to create a sense of place and a taste of local culture on board its fleet of aircraft. (Globetrender recently reported on how Delta Air Lines had partnered with Coca-Cola to illustrate its economy class tray tables with designs by a dozen artists from around the world.)
The “Qantas Curates” initiative sees the Aussie flag carrier selecting work from 16 local painters, photographers and “digital influencers” to print on its business class amenity kits, which are handed out to elite flyers for their journey.
From 1 May, the new range (eight kits for men and eight for women) will be offered to business class passengers on international flights, with two designs released every few months. The airline will showcase a range of styles, from pop art and abstract landscapes to indigenous art and textile design.
Each pack will contain ASPAR products by Aurora Spa (hand cream, lip balm and face moisturiser), a wrap-around eye mask, Colgate toothpaste, a toothbrush, earplugs and travel socks.
Qantas group executive of brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth, says the airline’s vision is to grow awareness of contemporary Australian art and give travellers a collectible piece to take with them. “As the national carrier, we’re pleased to support talented Aussies telling uniquely Australian stories through their artwork and share them with a global audience.
“Along with in-flight pyjamas, we know amenity kits are an important part of the international business class experience. Customers love the functionality of our kits and many use them after their flight as make-up bags, an evening clutch or to carry their mobile phones. So, the exposure is broad,” she says.
Billie Justice Thomson, whose artwork Fairy Bread will feature on an amenity kit for women said she was proud to be part of a programme that showcases artwork in such a unique way. “It’s really exciting to be part of an art exhibition at 38,000 feet. This is a powerful way to share contemporary art, particularly alongside some of Australia’s most talented artists,” she says.