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The Australian Paralympic Team for Paris 2024 will travel on a Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner specially illustrated with a ‘GO AUSTRALIA’ graphic on each side of the plane, bookmarked by the brand logos of Paralympics Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee.  

Gold medal-winning Para-cyclist Emily Petricola and three-time Paralympic athletics medallist Jaryd Clifford joined Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin at the unveiling at Sydney Airport on Thursday, alongside Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll and Olympians including diver Melissa Wu.  

Clifford, for whom Paris will be his third Paralympic Games, said travelling to and from the Games on Qantas was part of the experience of representing Australia.  

“It’s wonderful to see the Paralympics Australia logo up there on this amazing aeroplane,” he said.  

“I know all my teammates and I will feel encouraged knowing that the national carrier is right behind us as we compete against the rest of the world.  

“It’s going to be an exciting but also incredibly competitive Paralympic Games in Paris and support from back home, in whatever form, is greatly appreciated.” 

Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson said: “Qantas has a long and proud history of supporting the Australian Olympic and Paralympic Teams, from first flying Olympic athletes to the London Games in 1948 to our engineers designing custom cushions and support devices for our Australian Paralympians to travel comfortably on long-haul sectors.  

“We are so proud to support our Australian athletes and supporters to get to the Games once again and hope our special cheer squad 787 will help spur on our teams and supporters to put on a great show in Paris.” 

Paralympics Australia’s partnership with Qantas started for the London 2012 Games, but there is archival footage of Paralympians embarking and disembarking from Qantas aircraft at the Paralympic Games dating back to 1968.  

Australian Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin said the relationship with Qantas was more than symbolic.  

“Qantas offers flexibility around the travel requirements of people with a disability and the equipment they carry, and it’s great the way Paralympics Australia and Qantas collaborate to understand the needs of our team,” she said.  

“The flight home from the Games is always special. Qantas has delivered our Paralympians on charter flights home from London 2012, Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 and we’re thrilled that our team will again be flown home to Australia by Qantas after the Paris Paralympics.” 

Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Anna Meares said: “We are thrilled Qantas will be proudly sharing their support of Australian Olympians on their 787 Dreamliner. As an Olympian, flying on that Qantas plane home from a Games, to meet friends and family in the Qantas hangar welcome home, is such a special memory. I’m looking forward to our 2024 Olympic Team making their own Qantas memories on their journey to and from the Paris Games.” 

By David Sygall, Paralympics Australia.

Published 14 June, 2024.