Qantas has unveiled the shortlist of possible names for its fleet of forthcoming B787 Dreamliner aircraft, which will operate non-stop flights between London and Perth from next year.

The airline said that over 40,000 suggestions had been received, although CEO Alan Joyce admitted that “it’s fair to say there were a few suggestions which we found very funny but probably not suitable for an aircraft that will be flying around the globe”.

The 20 names on the shortlist include such Australian icons as Skippy, Uluru, Boomerang, Vegemite, Great Barrier Reef and Don Bradman.

The public has since had the chance to vote for their favourite, with the winning eight names being revealed this week.

Announcing the shortlist Joyce said:

“There were so many great entries that truly reflected the spirit of Australia and we’re thrilled with the response.

“It was obvious that people really put some thought into different themes we could use to name our fleet of eight new Dreamliners including famous explorers to some of their favourite Aussie sayings.

Qantas has used various naming conventions for previous aircraft types, including Australian capital cities and major centres for its B707 and B747 aircraft, to Australian aviation pioneers for its A380 superjumbos.