On this Day:
In 1920, Australia’s Qantas airways was founded in Winton, Queensland as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited.
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia and its largest airline by fleet size, international flights and international destinations. It is the world’s third-oldest airline still in operation, having been founded in November 1920; it began international passenger flights in May 1935. Qantas is an acronym of the airline’s original name, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services, as it originally served Queensland and the Northern Territory, and is popularly nicknamed “The Flying Kangaroo.” Qantas is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance.
The airline is based in the Sydney suburb of Mascot, adjacent to its main hub at Sydney Airport. As of March 2014, Qantas had a 65-per-cent share of the Australian domestic market and carried 14.9 per cent of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia. Various subsidiary airlines operate to regional centres and on some trunk routes within Australia under the QantasLink banner. Qantas also owns Jetstar, a low-cost airline that operates both international services from Australia and domestic services within Australia and New Zealand; and holds stakes in a number of other Jetstar-branded airlines.
Qantas was founded in Winton, Queensland on 16 November 1920 by Hudson Fysh, Paul McGinness and Fergus McMaster as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited. The airline’s first aircraft was an Avro 504K. It moved its headquarters to Longreach, Queensland in 1921 and Brisbane, Queensland in 1930.
In 1934, QANTAS and Britain’s Imperial Airways (a forerunner of British Airways) formed a new company, Qantas Empire Airways Limited (QEA). The new airline commenced operations in December 1934, flying between Brisbane and Darwin. QEA flew internationally from May 1935, when the service from Darwin was extended to Singapore (Imperial Airways operated the rest of the service through to London). When World War II began, enemy action and accidents destroyed half of the fleet of ten, and most of the fleet was taken over by the Australian government for war service.
Flying boat services were resumed in 1943, with flights between the Swan River at Crawley in Perth, Western Australia and Koggala Lake in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). This linked up with the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC, the successor airline to Imperial Airways) service to London. Qantas’ kangaroo logo was first used on the “Kangaroo Route”, begun in 1944, from Sydney to Karachi, where BOAC crews took over for the rest of the journey to the UK.
In 1947, QEA was nationalised by the Australian government led by Labor Prime Minister Ben Chifley. QANTAS Limited was then wound up. After nationalisation, Qantas’ remaining domestic network, in Queensland, was transferred to the also nationally owned Trans-Australia Airlines, leaving Qantas with a purely international network. Shortly after nationalisation, QEA began its first services outside the British Empire, to Tokyo. Services to Hong Kong began around the same time. In 1957 a head office, Qantas House, opened in Sydney.
In June 1959 Qantas entered the jet age when the first Boeing 707–138 was delivered.
On 14 September 1992, Qantas merged with nationally owned domestic airline Australian Airlines (renamed from Trans-Australia Airlines in 1986). The airline started to be rebranded to Qantas in the following year. Qantas was gradually privatised between 1993 and 1997. Under legislation passed to allow the privatisation, Qantas must be at least 51% owned by Australian shareholders.
Oneworld and Jetstar
In 1998, Qantas co-founded the Oneworld alliance with American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines and Cathay Pacific, with other airlines joining subsequently.
With the entry of new budget airline Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia) into the domestic market in 2000, Qantas’ market share fell. Qantas created the budget Jetstar in 2001 to compete. The main domestic competitor to Qantas, Ansett Australia, collapsed on 14 September 2001. Market share for Qantas immediately neared 90%, but competition with Virgin increased as it expanded; the market share of the Qantas Group eventually settled at a relatively stable position of about 65%, with 30% for Virgin and other regional airlines accounting for the rest of the market.
21st century developments
Qantas briefly revived the Australian Airlines name for a short-lived international budget airline between 2002 and 2006, but this subsidiary was shut down in favour of expanding Jetstar internationally, including to New Zealand. In 2004, the Qantas group expanded into the Asian budget airline market with Jetstar Asia Airways, in which Qantas owns a minority stake. A similar model was used for the investment into Jetstar Pacific, headquartered in Vietnam, in 2007, and Jetstar Japan, launched in 2012.
In December 2006, Qantas was the subject of a failed bid from a consortium calling itself Airline Partners Australia. Merger talks with British Airways in 2008 also did not proceed to an agreement. In 2011, industrial relations dispute between Qantas and the Transport Workers Union of Australia resulted in the grounding of all Qantas aircraft and lock-out of the airline’s staff for two days.
On 25 March 2018, a Qantas Boeing 787 scheduled non-stop commercial flight between Australia and Europe connecting the two continents by air for the first time, with the inaugural arrival in London of Flight 9 (QF9). QF9 was a 17-hour, 14,498 km (9,009-mile) journey from Perth Airport in Western Australia to London Heathrow.
On 20 October 2019, Qantas Airways completed the longest commercial flight to date between New York City and Sydney using a Boeing 787–9 Dreamliner in 19 hours and 20 minutes (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
After every flight the pilots of Qantas airways leave a note to the mechanics explaining problems that need to be fixed. When the next flight is due the mechanics leave a report that describes what they’ve done to fix the problem.
Problem: Traces of fuel leakage on the plane
Report: Traces removed
Problem: Sound from the DME instrument is so loud that you can’t believe it.
Report: Sound from the DME instrument is now set to be believable.
Problem:We suspect there is a crack in one of the windows.
Report: We suspect that you are right.
Problem: The plane reacts ridiculously to commands.
Report: The plane was warned to get serious.
Problem: A weird sound is coming from the control table, like a gnome is hitting it with a hammer.
Report: The gnome had his hammer taken away.
Second, a Song:
Toni Watson, known professionally as Tones and I, is an Australian singer, songwriter, and record producer. Her breakout single, “Dance Monkey”, was released in May 2019 and reached number one in over 30 countries.
In 2019, she broke the Australian record for the most weeks at number one on the ARIA Singles Chart by any artist with 16 weeks. By mid-January 2020, “Dance Monkey” had spent its 24th and final week at number one, beating Bing Crosby’s all-time Australian record for his version of “White Christmas,” which spent 22 weeks at the top in 1943.
“Dance Monkey” was accredited 15× platinum by ARIA for shipments of over 1,050,000 units, by mid-2021. Tones was the most awarded artist at the ARIA Music Awards of 2019, winning four of eight nominations. Tones and I released her debut extended play, The Kids Are Coming, on 30 August 2019, which peaked at number three in Australia, and top 10 in several countries. Her debut album, “Welcome to the Madhouse”, was released via Bad Batch on 16 July 2021. It debuted at number one on the ARIA Albums Chart. The album’s lead single “Fly Away” peaked at number four in Australia and number 11 in the UK (per Wikipedia).
Quantas has produced a video “Fly Away”: We’re all dreaming about the day we can fly away to see family, friends or enjoy a long-overdue holiday. Getting vaccinated is an important step that every Australian can take to bring us that little bit closer to life as we knew it (per YouTube.com).
Here is the video “Fly Away” from Quantas set to “Fly Away” by Tones and I. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“I love Australia; it was a really, really nice experience for me. It’s such a beautiful place. The people are beautiful – like, really beautiful – and they are beautiful in terms of their personalities. It’s a great place to be. It’s like you are in a little bit of a dream world.” – Shawn Mendes
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky