It all began in a remote part of Queensland: On November 16, 1920, pilots Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, who had returned from World War I, founded an airline with ranchers in Winton to connect places in the Australian outback.
The name was quickly found: Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services – or Qantas for short. The first flight took place at the end of January 1921, and the company’s headquarters were relocated to Longreach, around 180 kilometers further southeast, that same year.
The old hangar and that still stand on the airport grounds Qantas Founders Outback Museum has its headquarters there. It not only pays homage to the beginnings of aviation in Australia, there are historical Qantas aircraft from the DC-3 to the Boeing 707 to the jumbo jet, but there are also several special exhibitions as part of the 100th birthday of the Airline shown.
The goal: soon non-stop to Europe again
From the 1930s onwards, Qantas became an international airline with destinations abroad and since then has repeatedly set standards in long-haul traffic, such as the “kangaroo route” to London. After the Second World War, the fan guns needed another five days with six stops.
Until the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the Airbus A380 managed the route between London Heathrow and Melbourne or Sydney in under 24 hours, with only one stopover in Singapore.
Qantas even launched the first regular non-stop service between Europe and Australia in March 2018. The Boeing 787-9 covers the 14,500 kilometer flight from Perth to London in 17 hours. Several test flights from London and New York to Australia were also carried out last year.
At the beginning of the year, Qantas was about to make the decision to order the right ultra-long-haul aircraft type for the “Sunrise Project”. But then Corona came. Alan Joyce, the longtime head of Qantas, is convinced that after the end of the pandemic, the need for non-stop flights has grown even greater, as he said in a webinar with journalists on the occasion of Qantas’ 100th birthday.
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