Australian airline Qantas celebrates its 100th anniversary

(CNN) — Australian airline Qantas is celebrating its 100th anniversary on November 16, a uncommon piece of upbeat information for an aviation market hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline commenced life as the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Solutions, which was abbreviated to QANTAS, on — as you might have figured out — November 16, 1920.

The a few founders, Hudson Fysh, Paul McGinness and Fergus McMaster, believed that the then-nascent business enterprise of air journey may well be the way to connect numerous much-flung outposts in the rural locations of Australia.

Its very first plane was an Avro 504, a pre-Environment War I biplane that could seat a pilot and a person passenger.

Originally, tiny planes sent mail and freight amongst rural Outback cities, but the airline advanced alongside with the nation and Qantas (this time in lowercase) grew to become Australia’s nationwide provider in 1959. Its initially worldwide flight route was to Singapore in 1935.

Its kangaroo livery first appeared in 1944 and accompanied the airline all through the airline’s expansion during the Asia-Pacific location and beyond.

“Around the entire world, Qantas is almost certainly most effective recognized for its basic safety report, endurance traveling and extended listing of aviation firsts. But for Australians, there’s very little quite like seeing the traveling kangaroo at the airport, waiting around to acquire you residence,” the airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, reported in a push statement.

Amid the pandemic, Qantas operated quite a few of the “relief flights” that introduced Australian citizens again from distant corners of the environment.

It is not only Qantas’ identify that has changed around the previous century. The airline is credited with inventing company class and, in a non-Covid year, it’s the only provider that flies to all seven continents.

Like numerous other airways around the entire world, Qantas has been hit challenging by the decline in travel amid the pandemic. It has responded by launching a “flight to nowhere” the place passengers invest 7 hrs traveling in a loop throughout the continent, passing about sites like the Wonderful Barrier Reef and Uluru.

While huge ideas for the airline’s centennial ended up scaled back because of to local virus management strategies, Qantas did operate a scenic flight around Sydney Harbor to celebrate the big working day.

CNN’s Angus Watson contributed reporting.

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