Qantas signs Miranda Kerr as new ambassador

Qantas has thrown a lavish cocktail party in LA to welcome their new ambassador Miranda Kerr.

What's surprising is Kerr would put her name to an airline when she's known for her green ways - she's global ambassador for Earth Hour and has her own skincare line Kora Organics. But she defends the airline's environmental  impact.

"One of the first questions I asked was how do you help out with the environment and I was impressed with how good they are with their fuel efficiency, carbon footprint offsets, recycling water and they are always improving," she said. "It's something I feel very strongly about."

Qantas is hoping to distract from last year's PR nightmare with shiny pretty things - like signing a supermodel.

The airline is appointing the supermodel as its new ambassador joining John Travolta, Cathy Freeman, Mark Webber, Greg Norman, Mark Schwarzer and John Eales to promote the carrier worldwide.

Signing Kerr is quite a coup for Qantas - in 2009 Richard Branson wanted the underwear model to come on board with Virgin and planned to name a plane after her. But negotiations posed a conflict with her David Jones ambassadorship and fell through. David Jones fully supports her new alliance.

"I've never actually flown home with that airline (Virgin) so it wasn't meant to be. I fly with Qantas all time time and it feels right," she said.

In announcement comes a week after the airline won the ignominious honour of the biggest PR disaster of the year. Social media specialists Cyber Chatter named the grounding of the Qantas fleet by CEO Alan Joyce, stranding tens of thousands of passengers around the world the day after he received a huge payrise, as its number one PR disaster of 2011.

Qantas was also number two on the list for its ill-timed 'Qantas Luxury' Twitter competition, which backfired when thousands of users attacked the airline on the social networking site. The airline made the list a third time after it gave away free airfares to two men who wore blackface for a rugby competition, which it later apologised for.

As well as being a Victoria Secret favourite Kerr is also the global ambassador for Earth Hour and has her own skincare line Kora Organics. The girl from Gunnedah is flying high.

The Qantas Spirit of Australia party is at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel as part of G'day USA festivities with high-profile Aussie stars like Rachel Taylor, Ryan Kwanten, Jacki Weaver, Anthony LaPaglia and director Phillip Noyce. Icehouse frontman Iva Davies will perform for guests later in the evening.

The writer travelled as a guest of Qantas.

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