Sydney has commemorated Qantas Airways’ 100-year anniversary by lighting up their iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge; as a larger-than-life birthday cake, complete with illuminated candles that were blown out by a Qantas 787 as it did a low level overfly at 1,500 feet.

QF100 operated by Boeing 787 departed Sydney in the evening at 6:51pm
QF100 operated by Boeing 787 departed Sydney in the evening at 6:51pm

More than 1,300 LED tubes, 126 LED fixtures and 38 searchlights lit up the full expanse of the world’s most famous bridge; in the ultimate tribute from Sydney, the city which has been home to Qantas for more than eight decades. The projection of 60 historic images and two, 65 metre high, birthday candles onto the southern and northern pylons completed the transformation, creating a birthday moment like no other.

“What better way to mark such an important milestone for Qantas than with a celebration in the city it has chosen as its headquarters for the last 82 years, involving another much-loved Sydney icon the Harbour Bridge.”

“Sydney has benefited immensely from 100 successful years of business for Qantas, from bringing visitors to the state and boosting our visitor economy to providing local jobs.”

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres
Sydney Harbour

Video of the Flypass over Sydney Harbour and Candle Blowing

Almost 200 passengers, including 100 Qantas staff, were on board the 100-minute flight, which was a special Centenary Scenic Flight to mark the airline’s 100th year.

The spectacular candle- blowing lights off moment was a surprise for not just those on the ground, but also those on board the flight; a flight which also took in a showcase of Sydney Harbour, the HARS Aviation Museum in Shellharbour and Rose Bay, where Qantas Flying Boats were used in the 1930s and ‘40s.

The Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce, said Qantas was honoured to receive such a special and spectacular Centenary birthday show from Sydney.

“Qantas aircraft have been flying over Sydney Harbour Bridge for decades, so this was a spectacular way to mark our anniversary. It’s been a tough year for tourism but as more domestic borders open up, we’re ready to put more aircraft back in the air and bring people to see all that New South Wales has to offer.”

Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce

The QF100 flight operated with net zero emissions, with 100% of emissions being carbon offset. The offsets will be generated from high-quality carbon projects across north western NSW, that establish permanent native forests on land that was cleared of vegetation.

Photo: Qantas