A life (very) well travelled

Published on 1st June 2016 at 11:53
John standing James Strong

John Martin in Fiji before boarding Retro Roo I named for former Qantas CEO James Strong

For John Martin – the best place to spend Christmas Day was in a Qantas lounge or onboard a Qantas aircraft. He said many of the airline’s staff were like his family. And they were.

More than 50 years ago in 1964, John took his very first Qantas flight onboard a Boeing 707. Last year, he clocked up 1000 trips on us  – a record that will stand the test of time.

All up, John flew almost three million miles with Qantas including 143 trips to New York and 138 times to London. Qantas was always his first airline of choice – a fact everyone at Qantas is extremely proud of and humbled by.

As a former news director – John flew on the inaugural Boeing 747 flight that was the first aircraft to display the 1971 livery – the very same livery now covering a Boeing 737-800 affectionately named Retro Roo.

John + Alex

Captain Alex Passerini presenting John with the commemorative keys to Retro Roo I

In 2014, John helped us mark the arrival of the 737 delivery flight joining the Qantas team in Fiji, resplendent in his powder blue suit jacket and well travelled weathered suitcase.

As a token of our appreciation for his loyalty, John was formally presented with the ceremonial keys to Retro Roo by Captain Alex Passerini.

His 1000th flight featured on the first season of Qantas’ Ready For Take Off and he was a very friendly familiar face to many staff right across the business.

Today, John will be farewelled by Qantas for the last time and as per his wishes, a donation will be made to Motor Neurone Disease Research.

John was 83.