Qantas Airways Limited: milestones in the company’s development
Qantas Airways Limited is the market leader in the Australian air transport market. The company was founded in 1920, making it one of the world’s oldest companies in the sector. Initially, the business was engaged in postal transportation, and the Australian government supported its activities.
In 1934, Qantas formed a company with Imperial Airways of Great Britain that operated a single route between Brisbane and Darwin. A year later, an international flight to Singapore was launched.
The war period was extremely difficult for the company. Its fleet was halved, and some aircraft were given to the government. The business had to suspend operations for a few years, but in 1943 Qantas began operating flights. The routes were an airlift between rivers in several regions of Australia and the island of Sri Lanka. In 1944 a kangaroo logo appeared, which became the brand’s trademark.In 1947 the authorities nationalised the business, in which part of the domestic routes was transferred to another state-owned company. Qantas, in turn, began operating international services only. A short time later, representative offices were opened in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
The company purchased its first jet aircraft in 1959. It was a Boeing model 707-138, marking a new stage in the development of the business. In 1992, Qantas merged under a common brand with another Australian company. A year later, the business privatisation process began and lasted until 1997. Under local law, at least 51% of the shares must be owned by Australian shareholders. In 1998 Qantas entered into an alliance with airlines from the US, UK, Canada and China.
Qantas held a leading position in Australia until 2000, but the arrival of a low-cost carrier reduced the flag carrier’s popularity. The company opened a new low-cost division to keep its lead.
In 2004, Qantas began operating in the low-cost segment of the Asian market. It set up several subsidiaries in Japan and other countries.
In 2018, Qantas operated its first direct flight from Australia to Europe. It took 17 hours.
The airline has the status of the safest in the world. In its history, there has not been a single crash with its jets. However, as for other air transport, between 1927 and 1945, 8 Qantas aircraft crashed for various reasons, killing 63 people. Half of these accidents occurred when the company’s fleet was used for military purposes.