History and Present times of Qantas AirwaysQantas airlines were founded in November 16th 1920 in Winton, Queensland. The founders include Hudson Fysh, Paul McGinness, Arthur Baird and Fergus McMaster. The airline is Australia’s top domestic airline as well as a top airline in the Asia-Pacific. QANTAS is an acronym for Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd. When it was started, the airline was involved in operating subsidized airmail services. These were subsidized by the government and linked railheads in the western Queensland.
The development of Qantas Airlines started with fragile biplanes that could carry two people or a single passenger. This further progressed to the development of the Airbus A380s that carried 450 passengers half way around the world. The history and development of Qantas Airways is through determination of individuals and not just machines and many obstacles were overcome along the way.
From the year 1926 up to the year 1928, the airline made aircraft in Longreach with which it made the inaugural flight, the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia which departed from Cloncurry. In the year 1934, Qantas and Imperial Airways formed Qantas Empire Airways Limited (QEA). This flew on the international zones from 1935 May until 1943 when the World War caused a disruption in air travel. This new airline became nationalized in 1947 and its shares were bought by the Australian Labour government. The same year the airline introduced Constellation aircraft to the London route and operated its first flight to Japan.
In 1953, Qantas introduced the economy class to the UK on the Kangaroo route. This was mainly to enhance tourism. The following year, 1954, the airline started flying to San Francisco and Vancouver with the Super Constellations. The Olympic flame was carried by Qantas in the year 1956, from Athens to Australia when the Olympic Games were destined to take place in Melbourne. The following year the airline opened a new corporate headquarters in Sydney. In 1958, it was a pioneer in using Super Constellation round the world. It was also the first airline outside USA to introduce a Boeing 707 which was delivered in 1959.
The co-founder of Qantas, Sir Hudson Fysh retired from chairmanship in the year 1966. The next year, the name was changed to Qantas Airways Limited. The same year, 1967, the airline placed orders for Boeing 747. The jumbo jet Boeing 747 was introduced in1971. In 1974, there was a cyclone in Darwin and the airline set a world record by evacuating 673 passengers in one flight. Its 707 was phased out to make Qantas an all-747 airline and introduced Business Class. The Boeing 767s was introduced in 1985, while in 1986 the Trans Australian airline was changed to Australian Airlines which became an incorporated public company in 1988.
The Australian airlines pilots went on strike en masse in 1989 and new pilots under new contracts were recruited. The same year, the airline set a world record by flying the Boeing 747-400 for 18,001km nonstop in 20 hours from London to Sydney. In 1993, 25 percent of the airline’s shares were sold to the British Airways as a process of its privatization. There was a public float of the 75 percent shares in 1995. Qantas launched a new international subsidiary airline in 2002 under the name ‘Australian Airlines’ which ceased operation in 2006. Qantas introduced a local low cost carrier called Jetstar in 2004 and in 2008 it introduced A380 to its fleet.
Qantas is one of the profitable airlines having operated international flights to various airports such as Auckland, Heathrow, Singapore Changi and Los Angeles. It experienced a low point in 2009 with low profits being blamed on a drop in customer demand. The new generation check-in was introduced in 2010 and started flying in 2012 with the arrival of B787 fleet.