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Travolta is new Qantas First Officer

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Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
LOS ANGELES, June 24 (Reuters) - Self-professed "airline geek" and actor John Travolta on Monday earned a new pair of wings as a first officer for Qantas Airways and unveiled a world tour to promote air travel that has weakened since Sept. 11.

Travolta, an avid pilot and Oscar-nominated star of movies from "Saturday Night Fever" to "Pulp Fiction," trained with Qantas and on 747 simulators at Boeing Co. in Seattle and was now officially "Ambassador-at-large" for the Australian airline.

Shortly after Qantas (QAN) Chief Executive Officer Geoff Dixon pinned the golden wings on Travolta, who was wearing a crisp blue aviator's uniform, the actor called the moment "one of the proudest days of my life."

"Without crying here, I would say it's at least alongside the two Oscar nominations I've received in my career. It's right up there with that," Travolta told reporters.

Travolta, 48, said as far back as when he was 4 years old, he wanted his own pilot's uniform. He began taking flying lessons at age 16 and earned his jet pilot's license in 1981. Since then, he has logged 5,000 hours of flying time.

"Besides my serious attitude toward flying, I have to admit something to all of you, I am an airline geek," Travolta said.

He has a son named Jett, and joked that he wanted to name his daughter "Qantas," but wife Kelly Preston wouldn't allow it.

Travolta said his new plans stem from a tour he took to Australia last summer to promote his action thriller, "Swordfish."

Travolta owns a vintage Boeing 707 that was first flown by Qantas, and when he arrived in Australia in the plane, he said, it caused quite a stir. He asked to meet with Dixon and told him if Qantas would return his 1960s plane to its original colors, he would fly around the world to promote the airline.

The movie promotion took place shortly before the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

After the attacks, he and Dixon decided to broaden the scope of his promise to promote not just Qantas, but the airline industry and flying, in general, Travolta said.

"Personally, I can not think of a better ambassador for Qantas than John," Dixon said.

So, in his freshly painted 707 dubbed the "Jett Clipper Ella," on July 1, Travolta will take to the air from Los Angeles and head to Auckland, New Zealand to begin the 10-nation "Spirit of Friendship" tour.

Other destinations will include Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Rome, Paris, Frankfurt and New York.
For all U Wholly Owned Pilots

"jet pilot's license " - And all along the U wholly owned pilots thought we didn't have jets because of Mr. Bebe and the mainline scope, now the truth is told its because were missing the "jet pilot's license" - Thats what Dave was talking about in the CLT meeting. Darn this "prop pilot's license" I have.
Travolta is actually quite an accomplished pilot, he currently has 5 type ratings, I guess the B744 type would be his sixth. Here is a list of his 5 type ratings.

Citation- C500
Lear Jet- LRJET
Gulfstream II/III G-1159
Hawker HS-125
707 B-707
John Travolta and P-F-T

Kind of puts a different spin on that topic, doesn't it? :rolleyes:

Oh, well, if he every tires of acting he might be able to change careers. I wonder how H.R. would react to his turbine time? :rolleyes:

I agree that Pulp Fiction was a great flick.
Did the Feds ever bust him for that reckless "buzz job" he did in the 707 up in Maine (I think) a couple years ago ? As I recall, several witnesses identified his 707 easily in the neighborhood of 500 ft. Then again, if they did it would make the FAA look "mean", picking on a beloved celebrity and all.
Why don't you ask him? I am sure he is on this board and reads it regularly.

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