Naomi Watts recreates iconic British Airways poster

By David Flynn, April 28 2015
Naomi Watts recreates iconic British Airways poster

Naomi Watts' latest starring role is glam poster girl for British Airways, as the world-famous Aussie actress recreates an iconic BA ad to celebrate the airline's 80th anniversary of flights 'down under'.

Watts slipped into a vintage swimsuit for this modern take on the classic poster image, which was used decades ago to promote the launch of a London-Brisbane service on April 13, 1935, under the name of Imperial Airways – British Airways predecessor – in conjunction with Qantas Empire Airways.

Click here to download a high-res version of the Naomi Watts poster [2.6MB JPEG image].

And it was a far cry from today's one-stop flights from Sydney to London via Singapore.

The trip stretched out over 12 days, beginning with a flight to Paris to connect to an overnight train to Brindisi, where passengers resumed their air journey as political considerations then prevented Imperial Airways flying over Italy.

In all, there would be no less than ten nights spent along the route in carefully selected hotels around the world – including Baghdad, Delhi, Bangkok and Singapore.

A one-way ticket cost A$376 (£195) – that's a hefty $23,470 (£12,158) in today’s money, and nearly twice the price of a return ticket in British Airways' luxurious first class cabin today.

From 1938 the final stage of the journey took place on Qantas' Empire Class flying boat service between Singapore and Sydney’s Rose Bay, although this still needed four full days (with three overnight stops).

Only 16 passengers could be accommodated during flights with overnight legs, but they enjoyed “the most luxurious saloons ever prepared in an aircraft” spread over a series of tiered cabins including a smoking room and bunk-like sleeping berths.

Also read: The way it was – Sydney to Singapore in 4 days by Qantas flying boat

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 341

Couldn't they have given Watts a properly fitting "vintage swimsuit"?

This one is all baggy and gaping round the legs

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Apr 2014

Total posts 25

Maybe she was supposed to gain some weight ;)

17 Feb 2012

Total posts 121

A very odd and not terrible vintage ad, and looks like it could've been taken on an i-Phone.  If they were genuine about tipping their hat to the past - then do it properly.  Typical of the poms to do it cheap.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2014

Total posts 132

thats terrible...

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 738

On one hand, she looks pretty good for 46.

On the other hand, she's 46! Geez, couldn't you get a younger model?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 504


29 Aug 2014

Total posts 19

"Fly British across the world" - earliest form of JSA? Bit hard to explain to our children given the QF-EK tieup and BA at QF's throat.

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