Qantas still calls Australia, er, Atlas

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, would 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''.

Qantas said the commercial would promote the theme ''Australians fly for many different reasons, we fly for one, you're the reason we fly''.

Johns said in a statement released by the airline 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 I Still Call Australia Home soundtrack would still be used for special events.

Qantas is locked in a war with 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 free iPads 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.

Qantas also said 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.