On September 9, 1946, nearly 67 years ago, a Trans Australia Airlines Douglas DC-3 took off from Melbourne for the three-and-a-half hour flight to Sydney.
And the good news is that this particular aircraft (VH-AES) is still in excellent condition and flying with the TAA Museum in the livery in this photo.
Qantas may see its Centenary
Some more news from Aus, is that it looks like Qantas will survive to celebrate its 100th birthday as a regular transport operator under the same Title and still under majority Australian ownership.
Qantas under the same title & continuous autonomy, will be the first airline in the world to log a century of service!
You may not know that TAA, changed names to Australian Airlines and was bought out by Qantas in 1993/4.
The reason for mentioning this is that just 13 years after TAAs DC-3 made its inaugural flight, Qantas commenced jet operations with its first Boeing 707-138 VH-EBA.
Qantas was also the first operator to buy the 707 outside USA.
In 2006 a team of volunteers, mostly Qantas Engineers & pilots, restored this first 707-138 VH-EBA in England and flew it home to Sydney via the USA, painted in the original airline livery it wore when delivered by Boeing. At the time this flight was made the aircraft was the oldest airworthy commercial jet in the world.
Some of our contributors may know that John Travolta owns and operates the ex-Qantas 707-138 VH-EBM the last of 13 delivered.
John keeps this aircraft in sparkling condition and painted in its last Qantas colours registed as N707JT.
John occasionally flies his "Qantas 707" to Australia where of course Qantas provides extra special service.
Well 777 spanner, I hate to throw a spanner in your comments. As a former TAA Captain no way did Qantas 'buy' us out in 1993! We were merged with Qantas by the decree of the Keating government to make the intended public sale more attractive. Short Haul as we became has been the backbone of Qantas for the last 20 years. In my humble opinion Qantas would not have survived with out us!
G Hawke - Misinformation,
Thanks for your comments.
I must point out the facts of the financial transactions carried out as part of the sale of Qantas shares to BA. The public listing of Qantas Airways Ltd shares on the Australian Stock Exchange could not legally occur without the injection of considerable funds by the owners the Australian Government. It is a fact the transaction selling TAA to Qantas was part of the finacial restructure of Qantas by Keating's government.
The Australian Government under Keating carried out these "financial adjustments" through the unlisted Qantas Airways Ltd. to remedy the Fedral government's long record of a serious lack of equity injection into Qantas - despite Qantas making considerable returns to the same Federal Government from profits. The merger of the State owned Australian Airlines (I must correct you as TAA was renamed [in 1986] years before advent of the Qantas Sale Act), into the Qantas entity along with other Federal Government internal finacial adjustments, meant the merged entity could then meet the Australian Stock Exchange financial debt equity and other rules (facts that precluded Qantas Airways Ltd. being listed on its own).
These are established financial facts not my imagination.
Australian Airlines (prev.TAA) was created in 1946 by the Australian Government as a State owned entity, whereas Qantas was created as a Private Company on 19th August 1920 prior to commencement of charter operations in 1921 and regular services in 1922.
The original private company Q.A.N.T.A.S Ltd. became Qantas Empire Airways Ltd. with major injection of equity from the Australian & British governments in 1934. Although original share holding familes retained some small share holdings, it effectively became a State owned unlisted company.
Australian Airlines (TAA) was not listed on ASX, nor was it a seperate entity in the Qantas Sale Act, at the time BA purchased the Qantas Airways Ltd. shares.
Another misunderstood fact is that the titles still worn by all Qantas Airways Ltd. aircraft are in in capital letters of the founding company's full name (a progressive shortening from the original use of the full words of the founding company's official name - with unbroken links for close to a century).
As to the subsequent & more recent "management" of the Qantas Group, that is a quite different matter. I do recall that during the first decade following the Qantas Sale Act, both the Domestic and International Divisions of Qantas made regular large profits - the finacial performance was not one sided as you suggest.
The second decade after the Qantas Sale Act are quite different, when the International Division for various internal & external reasons began to lose market share, competitive advantage and deminishing returns.
Unlike you, I will not personally discredit your words, but will correct your misinformation. I have been involved in the aviation industry throughout the period mentioned and the record of these major events in Australian aviation is well documented.
You need to go no further than the Qantas "Our Company" website which states:
"After changing airline policy, the Australian Government in 1992 approved a A$400 million bid by Qantas for Australian Airlines and its subsidiaries and announced that the enlarged Qantas group would be fully privatised. The purchase of Australian Airlines was completed in September 1992."
Kathryn Young Blog