Monday, November 15, 2010

Qantas 90th Anniversary


90 years ago on the 16 November 1920, Australia’s national airline QANTAS was formed by Lieutenant Wilmot Hudson Fysh and Lieutenant Paul McGinness. Both had fought at Gallipoli before transferring to the Australian Flying Corps. On their return to Australia, they were commissioned to build airstrips for the Great Air Race. This is when they realised the benefits air travel could offer to cover Australia’s vast distances.

QANTAS originally stood for the Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service and commenced operations in Longreach, Queensland in 1921. Initially Qantas offered joy rides and an air taxi service, but shortly after commenced regular passenger flights from Charleville to Cloncurry.

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Although Qantas has a reputation for being one of the world’s safest airlines, it did lose aircraft flown on behalf of the military in WWII. Its first international flight was from Darwin to Singapore in 1935 and its first jet aircraft was a Boeing 707-138 which it put into operation in 1959. In 90 years Qantas has expanded the reach of Australian aviation, now travelling to 18 domestic destinations and 21 international destinations. It also runs flightseeing flights to the Antarctic.

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