Qantas is undoubtedly one of
Australia’s leading brands. It is the national
carrier of the country. It takes its pride of not
just being the biggest airline in Australia; Qantas
is also the second oldest carrier that is still
actively operating in the world. It follows the
Netherlands’ KLM. In the English-speaking market,
Qantas is logically the oldest.
The name Qantas is actually an acronym for the
company’s original name, Queensland and Northern
Territory Aerial Services. Around the world, the
airline is also known as ‘The Flying Kangaroo,’
symbolizing the popular animal that is native to the
continent. Global research consultancy company
Skytrax said Qantas occupied the sixth spot at its
best airline poll in 2009. In 2005 and 2006, the
carrier occupied the second spot.
The company was established on
November 16, 1920 in Winton, Queensland. The
original Qantas entered into an agreement in 1934
with the United Kingdom’s Imperial Airways (now
British Airways) to jointly form Qantas Empire
Initial flights of the combined
airlines were between Darwin and Brisbane. After the
Second World War, the airline was nationalized. It
brought Qantas to servicing flights outside British
Empire, including Tokyo and Manila. That was the
start of the company’s global reach. In 1993, Qantas
was privatized. Former partner British Airways took
a 25% stake in the firm. In 1995, the airline was
publicly listed. In 1998, it co-founded One world
alliance together with British Airways, American
Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Canadian Airlines. The alliance further strengthened
Qantas’ coverage and services around the world.To date, Qantas is an aviation
powerhouse. It has expanded to own several fully owned
subsidiaries like Jetconnect, Jetstar Airways, Qantas
Freight, and QantasLink. It also owns stakes at offshore
airlines like Fiji-based Air Pacific, Air New Zealand, Star
Track Express, and Australian Air Express.
Qantas’ mainline has a fleet consisting of 136 aircrafts, as
of March 2009. With its subsidiaries, the fleet balloons
further to 237 aircrafts. The fleet comprises of some of the
most sophisticated jets from Airbus and Boeing. The average
fleet age of the carrier stands at about 8.8 years.
company is still actively pursuing fleet expansion
initiatives. In fact, it has orders for the latest jetliners
from both Airbus and Boeing, though delays in aircraft
completion are still occurring. The carrier regularly flies
to up to 82 destinations across all six continents.
Headquarters are located at City of Botany Bay in Sydney,
NSW. Its main offshore hubs are situated at Sydney Airport
and Victoria’s Melbourne Airport. There are regular daily
flights to airports in Brisbane, Perth, Los Angeles,
Singapore Changi and London Heathrow. Domestic hubs are
found in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane airports.
However, Qantas also has strong presence in Cairns,
Canberra, and Adelaide.