Welcome, Aboard Your Flight Of Fictional Fantasy
by: Phillip Nicholson
Air travel is second nature to most of the world population these days, with routes available all over the globe, airlines are continually introducing new hubs, bigger, more technically advanced aircraft with specialized service and comfort– all with the hopes of gaining that prestigious title of No1 airline.
From purchasing your ticket to check-in, and beyond, creating a seamless, enjoyable experience, is what many airlines strive for. Imagine you’re at the airport, the check-in was relatively smooth, you’re relaxed. It’s time to board and you walk down the jetway, make your way to the plane and your seat, you flick through the magazine you’ve purchased in the terminal knowing in just a few short hours you’ll have reached your “Final Destination”. Would you be still as relaxed and carefree if the airline you’d chosen to fly with had been involved in multiple crashes, airline hijackings or in-flight malfunctions? The simple answer is NO!
The world of cinema is a very profitable industry and has continued to grow since the early days of the silent movie stars rescuing damsels on the train tracks to today’s latest explosive disaster-laden million dollar blockbuster. Now think of yourself as a CEO of an international airline and the financial obligations you make for your company in the hopes of reaching with all your grasp for that aforementioned coveted title of the No1 airline. But with the added difference that you’ve just allowed your name to be featured in a aircraft disaster or hijacked/international terrorism scenario themed movie. You aren’t going to be featuring on the pages of Forbes anytime soon if you’ve got empty aircraft and no scheduled service all because your potential passengers have been scared witless by their most recent visit to the theater which has resulted in little to no bookings. This is where the astute movie company art & design department come in with their extremely talented way of inventing the non-existent international airlines. Some fictitious airlines included names like. Paradise Airlines, ATW (American Trans World), Trans Con, Atlantic International, Columbia, South Pacific, Air Nova, Federation World, Volee, TransGlobal, Trans Allied, Fresh Air and Aqualantic. They all suffer at the hands of terrorists, experience explosive decompression, an outbreak of poisonous snakes onboard, involvement in mid-air collisions, trips through space and time, and even a crash with horrific consequences! But this all happened to fictional brands protecting real airlines from potential bankruptcy.
However, one stands above the rest. OCEANIC AIRLINES/AIRWAYS has been featured in many different forms since the 1960’s, but it wasn’t until 1996 that it was seen heavily in “Executive Decision” which saw Kurt Russell play a US Army specialist trained in terrorism covertly board a hijacked Boeing 747 with a team of Army commandos via an air to air transfer. The 747-200 seen in the movie had a deep/light blue color cheat line scheme with an OA wave effect stylized logo. The airline featured prominently again in the ABC TV mystery drama “Lost” which sees an Oceanic Airlines Boeing 777 crash on its way from Sydney to Los Angeles leaving passengers stranded on a South Pacific island. For this appearance, the branding was completely different to that seen in Executive Decision and saw a white aircraft with the logo depicting an Australian Aboriginal dot painting that resembles a nazar, a bullseye or an “island”. This is the prime example of why the fictitious branding is created, to prevent this abject feeling of knowing, what if? And no real harm can occur, then, if a real operating airline doesn’t associate itself with a disaster theme or crash scenario film. In the past 20 years, Oceanic has been featured in countless media including Comics such as, The Daily Telegraph’s ALEX DAREDEVIL Buffy The Vampire Slayer Film Executive Decision (1996) For Love Of The Game (1999) Nowhere To Land (2000) Code 11-14 (2003) Survivor (2015) Radio Cabin Pressure (2010) Television Alias (2005) Castle (2015) Chuck (2007) Crossing Jordan (2003) FlashForward (2009) Flipper (1965) Futurama (2011) Fringe (2008) The Goldbergs (2014) LAX Senators Daughter (2006) Once Upon A Time (2012) The Pretender (1996) The X Files (1997) Video Games Dead Island (2011) The Wolf Among Us (2013)
The exterior footage of the 747 in-flight from Executive Decision has been reused in various television & movie appearances since its production in 1996. One, in particular, was the year 2000 TV thriller “Nowhere To Land” which saw an Oceanic 747 from Sydney to Los Angeles have a lethal nerve toxin placed onboard, in some of the scenes while the 747 is being prepped for departure at Sydney you can see Greek writing on the airside vehicles! This was because Athens was the departing airport of the Oceanic 747 in Executive Decision. Furthermore, another part to look out for when the 747 takes off from Sydney in Nowhere To Land, a hole is visible in the fuselage that occurred during an explosive decompression towards the end of Executive Decision. All these appearances of a real operating airline and you can kiss your chance goodbye of that coveted top spot in the best airline chart. I am by no means a nervous flyer and if I could make flights longer that I’m on I would… But I’m certainly glad that the occurrences are happening to a fictionalized airline… As I am sure you are!