Daniel Johns gets on board as Qantas replaces iconic I Still Call Australia Home anthem

Qantas has replaced its long-running I Still Call Australia Home advertising soundtrack with music by Silverchair's Daniel Johns.

The airline said the new work by Johns, titled Atlas, will air with a television commercial that "takes the viewer on an aerial tour canvassing scenes of Australians going about their everyday activities and ends with a portrait of the faces, supporting the narrative 'Australians fly for many different reasons, we fly for one, you're the reason we fly'".

Johns said in a statement released by Qantas that he agreed to pen his first commercial work as he was "really into the idea of creating a piece of music that represented Australia".

"I wanted it to sound big, something special. It was a conscious effort to create a good piece of music and not just a jingle. I've also wanted to work with the Australian Chamber Orchestra for a long time now so it was great to finally be able to do that."

Qantas unveiled a new advertising campaign at the beginning of the month. It had a strong social media focus and gave Australians the opportunity to have their names emblazoned on the sides of two new planes.

The airline's executive manager of marketing, Lewis Pullen, said then that the I Still Call Australia Home soundtrack, which he dubbed a "quasi-national anthem", would still be used for special events such as the Olympics.

Qantas is locked in a war with rival Virgin Australia as the two airlines battle for dominance in Australia's domestic market, with particular focus on business-class passengers. Yesterday, Qantas announced it would be providing all passengers on its 767 aircraft with iPads free of charge for in-flight entertainment.

The airline also announced changes to its Frequent Flyer program, allowing members to use their points to secure a last-minute upgrade at the airport.

Today's Johns announcement was closely followed by a media release from the airline stating that its domestic flights were the most on-time for the past year up to June 30, according to aviation statistics released by the government's Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economies.


The bureau stated in its annual report that Qantas had the highest level of on-time departures and arrivals for 2011 at 83 per cent and 81.9 per cent respectively.

Virgin was ranked second for on-time departures at 81 per cent and on-time arrivals at 79.4 per cent.

Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen wrote I Still Call Australia Home in 1980.

Qantas advertisements featuring the song first aired in 1998. The first advertisement featured children's choirs and was launched to coincide with the Commonwealth Games in Malaysia. A reworked version coincided with the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and a 2004 version with the Games in Athens.