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Qantas History

Qantas, short for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services, is the flag carrier airline of Australia. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious airlines in the world, with a rich history that dates back to its establishment in 1920.

Qantas was founded in Winton, Queensland, on November 16, 1920, by Hudson Fysh, Paul McGinness, and Fergus McMaster. The airline initially operated as an air mail service, using an Avro 504K aircraft. However, it quickly expanded its operations to include passenger flights.

In 1922, Qantas moved its headquarters to Longreach, Queensland, and began operating regular flights between Charleville and Cloncurry. This marked the beginning of Qantas' commitment to connecting regional communities in Australia.

More Airline Insights & Tips

Here are a few of helpful resources & tips that can further enhance your knowledge of Qantas airlines and how to best be prepared for your trip:

  • Delays are an unfortunate fact of the life of an air traveler. Arm yourself against surprises by knowing the flight status of your QF Qantas flight before heading to the airport, as this could save you a lot of time, or even your trip to the airport if your flight is canceled.
  • Info can be found here on Qantas’s company structure, headquarters, etc.
  • See which partnerships and alliances Qantas has here. This is useful if you want to build up your frequent flyer points on partner airlines.
  • Want to know which plane types are in service? Check out QF’s fleet list here.
  • When considering a flight booking on Qantas, be aware that third-party travel sites might require you to use their customer service instead of Qantas's, which may be less than ideal in certain situations.

Beyond the history presented here for Qantas, if you’re wanting more aviation history, read about the history of commercial flight here, or the history of the airline industry here.

Throughout the 1930s, Qantas expanded its routes and introduced new aircraft, such as the De Havilland DH.86 and the Douglas DC-3. The airline also established partnerships with other airlines, including Imperial Airways (now British Airways), to offer international services.

During World War II, Qantas played a vital role in transporting troops and supplies. The airline's aircraft were used for military purposes, and Qantas operated flights to support the war effort. After the war, Qantas resumed its commercial operations, focusing on expanding its international network.

In 1959, Qantas introduced the iconic Boeing 707 jet aircraft, becoming the first airline outside of North America to operate jet services on long-haul routes. This marked a significant milestone in the airline's history and solidified its position as a global carrier.

Over the years, Qantas continued to innovate and expand its fleet. In 1971, the airline introduced the Boeing 747, known as the "Queen of the Skies," which allowed for even longer-range flights. Qantas also became one of the founding members of the global airline alliance, oneworld, in 1999.

Today, Qantas operates a modern fleet of aircraft and offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. The airline is known for its commitment to safety, customer service, and innovation. Qantas has received numerous accolades and awards, including being named the world's safest airline by AirlineRatings.com multiple times.

For more information about this airline, check out our comprehensive Qantas Guide.

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