Is Qantas Really 100 Years Old

Author: Australis Gifts   Date Posted:25 November 2019 

Is Qantas Really 100 Years Old main image Is Qantas Really 100 Years Old image
A brief look at the past 99 years as we count down to the 100th anniversary celebrations.


So you saw the latest Qantas Boeing 787-9 to be delivered wearing special 100th Anniversary livery, what is that all about? Well, it's not the 100th anniversary of Qantas just yet but it is never too early to start the party!

A Short History Of The Last 99 Years

Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited (QANTAS) was registered on 16 November 1920. The company started in Winton, Queensland with two aircraft and shortly moved to Longreach down the road. Initially conducting joy flights and charter flights and then a mail service on behalf of the government and passenger flights in 1922. The first Qantas aircraft was a Sydney built Avro 504K. In 1930 Qantas moved it's operations and maintenance to Brisbane in Queensland and had already flown 1.6 million kms (1 million miles). Qantas in partnership with Imperial Airways from Britain formed Qantas Empire Airways (QEA) and conducted an airmail service and passenger service between Australia and the United Kingdom. Qantas' first overseas flight was Brisbane to Singapore in 1935 using de Havilland DH86 aircraft. Then in 1938 a new service using flying boats  commenced with Qantas flying from Sydney to Singapore. Imperial Airways flew the remainder of  the service from Singapore to the UK. The Sydney to Southampton service took nine days.

In 1945, after the Second World War Qantas in partnershp with British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) re-started passenger services to London by flying to Karachi in Pakistan where BOAC took over the remainder of the service to the UK. In 1947 the Australian government acquired all the shares in QEA and QEA started flying Lockheed L-749 Constellation aircraft on the Kangaroo Route from Sydney to London. In 1949 the Australian domestic services and flying doctor services were transferred to TAA (formed in 1945) and Qantas concentrated on overseas services including a new service to Hong Kong. In 1958 Qantas started a new round the world service flying Super Constellations and in 1959 took delivery of it's first Boeing 707-138 jetliner. The Boeing 707 halved travel time between Sydney and San Francisco (USA) via Nadi and Honolulu. In 1964 Qantas reserved options to purchase the new super sonic Concorde airliner but cancelled these options a couple of years later. The first non-stop flight by a commercial aircraft from the USA to Australia was by a Qantas 707-338C aircraft in 1965.

In 1971 Qantas took delivery of it's first Boeing 747 (B747-238B) aircraft, and retired it's last Boeing 707 in 1979. For a number of years Qantas was the only airline in the world to have an all Boeing 747 aircraft fleet. That was until 1985 when the first Qantas Boeing 767-200 entered service. The first Qantas Boeing 747-400 (747-438) was delivered in 1989 and made a world record non-stop flight from London to Sydney, taking just over 20 hours.

In 1992 Qantas purchased Australian Airlines (formerly TAA) and was now flying both domestic and international routes. As a result of the Australian Airlines purchase Airbus A300 aircraft are now part of the Qantas fleet.  Also in 1992, 25% of Qantas was sold by the Australian government to British Airways. The remaining 75% of Qantas was listed on the Australian stock exchange in 1995. Legislation requires Qantas to be at least 51% Australian-owned. In 2002 Qantas takes delivery of it's first Airbus A330-200 aircraft and in 2008 takes delivery of it's first A380-800 aircraft. The first Qantas Boeing 787-9 aircraft was delivered in 2017, and in 2018 Qantas flies the first non-stop commercial flight between Australia (Perth) and the United Kingdom (London - Heathrow) using a Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

In November 2019 the tenth Qantas Boeing 787-9 aircraft arrives flying non-stop London to Sydney wearing the special 100th anniversary livery.

The guest of honour has arrived, let the count down to the 100th birthday party begin!

To purchase Qantas B787-9 model aircraft with the 100th anniversary livery visit our model aircraft webpages.

If you have any comments we would love to hear them.


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