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Expressions of interest ... the Ansett brand. Photo: Bryan Charlton

FANS of the long gone but still well-loved airline Ansett are flying a kite intended to spark interest in resurrecting the brand.

After a mysterious ad showing an Ansett plane appeared in Melbourne's Age newspaper recently, the website it listed received a big rise in traffic, with more than 1500 views in the past week and more than 200 emails. A form response to the emails said the ad was ''exploratory - to gauge if there was [sic] any serious parties with a genuine interest in re-establishing the Ansett brand in one form or other''.

The ad was placed by advertising executive Peter Schooling, who has registered the name Ansett Airlines of Australia. Ansett Australia, the company subject to a deed of arrangement, still owns the name Ansett.

Mr Schooling said he was convinced that the Ansett name was still held in high esteem by the travelling public, despite the collapse of Ansett Australia in 2001.

In reply to former Ansett staff who inquired about getting work, Mr Schooling said while restarting the airline was ''a long, long shot'', one way it could happen was with a radically different ownership structure, with employees owning most of the shares. He said he was continuing to talk to a couple of people who had responded to the ad with proposals.