Qantas and California-based maker of premium electric cars, Tesla, took to the runway at Avalon Airport, southwest of Melbourne, for a stunt which served to christen the new brand partnership.
The tie-up sees Qantas become Tesla’s airline of choice in Australia and offset all the car maker’s domestic corporate travel emissions as part of Qantas’ Future Planet Program.
During the coming months Qantas and Tesla will introduce a raft of services and benefits for customers.
Also aimed at driving innovation for their customers and sustainability in the transport industry, the duel pitted two examples of engineering achievement against one another - a Qantas Boeing 737-800 aircraft and a Tesla Model S P90D electric car.
Both took to the runway but the Tesla was in the shadow of the aircraft as it pulled up at the end of the runway – the clear early winner on the ground, just overtaken when the aircraft did what it was designed to do - fly.
Qantas’ head of environment and fuel, Alan Milne, said the collaboration was a meeting of minds and added “what better way to celebrate working together than having a unique race – car versus plane”.
“Both our companies are passionate about continuing to push the boundaries of customer service, innovation and sustainability in the transport industry,” he says.
“We’re huge admirers of the way Tesla has transformed the electric car sector as a premium brand and we look forward to sharing our understanding and advance the work we started in 2012 on biofuels as an alternative to jet fuel.”
Regular meetings will occur between both companies to investigate future opportunities around sustainable transport.
Exclusive events for Qantas frequent flyers are set to take place, enabling them to experience new Tesla vehicles and technology.
In addition, there will be Qantas Club membership for Tesla Model S owners and Tesla High Power Wall Connectors at Qantas Valet facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide - allowing Model S owners to charge whilst they travel.
On Thursday Qantas launched its new health insurance product with ads starring Hollywood A-lister Christopher Walken, illustrating that the Qantas policy allows customers to collect Frequent Flyer points for being active, using the pun-tastic strapline “steppin, running and ... walkin". Check it out here.
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