People taking holidays to Australia and beyond could find that their plane has an iconic twist.

Tourists taking holidays to Australia and New Zealand could well find that their mode of transport has something of an iconic theme.

Qantas has launched the first of a new range of Boeing 737-800 aircraft in its fleet and taken the opportunity to announce that it will be named after the aviatrix Jean Batten.

Meanwhile, the next planes will be named after the iconic New Zealanders Katherine Manfield and Sir William Hudson.

Qantas regional general manager Grant Lilly said that three of the machines will be flying by the middle of next month and the rest are due to be in place by 2011.

He said: “Aircraft have come a very long way since Jean Batten broke her records and we are confident that our new fleet will showcase the best of modern onboard technology and design.”

Qantas can trace its history back to 1920, when Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services was formed.

Written by Anthony Nicholson

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