John Travolta Prefers His Airplanes Big
10/31/2002 AT 01:15 PM EST
On Wednesday, the star and trained pilot, 48, received the keys to a new 747 from the Boeing Corporation in Washington, the Associated Press reports.
"You know what they say, 'If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going,'" Travolta said at a small ceremony.
Travolta was given a model 747-400ER Extended Range jet, the first of six to be delivered to Qantas. It's Boeing's first redesign of the jumbo 747 since 1993, says AP. (Aviation buffs should note that the planes seat 416 people in a standard three-class configuration, and offer larger carry-on compartments and roomier interiors.)
At the ceremony, the "Pulp Fiction" star donned a pilot's uniform belonging to Qantas, the Australian airline that hired him in June as an ambassador at large. That doesn't mean, however, that he gets to keep the new 747 for himself. He's turning it over to the airline, which intends to fly it from Los Angeles to Melbourne.
Qantas initially hired Travolta as a way to help promote air travel after the industry fell into a slump following the events of Sept. 11.
He spent the summer flying around the world in a specially outfitted Qantas 707 with his family: actress-wife Kelly Preston, 39, and their two children, son Jett, 10, and daughter Ella Bleu, 2.