The Flying Kangaroo: 20 Interesting Facts About Qantas

Often called the “Flying Kangaroo”, Qantas Airways is highly acclaimed as the third oldest airline in the world. It is Australia’s flagship carrier that has achieved several milestones in the past few years.

Here are 20 interesting facts about Qantas that might surprise you.

1. Qantas Airways is the largest airline of Australia and the third oldest airline in the world, after KLM and Avianca.

2. Qantas was founded by two World War I veterans, William Hudson Fysh and Paul McGuiness and Fergus McMaster who previously worked with the Australian Flying Corps on 16 November, 1920 with headquarters in Winton, Queensland.

3. The word “Qantas” is an acronym for its original name, “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services”, and it is nicknamed “The Flying Kangaroo”.

4. In 1934, QANTAS and Britain’s Imperial Airways formed Qantas Empire Airways Limited (QEA)

5. The Australian government nationalised QEA In 1947. It was initiated by Ben Chifley, the Labor Prime Minister.

6. In 1974, Qantas established a world record by evacuating 673 passengers in one of its flight from Darwin after the city was hit by Cyclone Tracy.

7. Qantas Boeing 747-438 made the first record-breaking non-stop flight – London-Sydney non-stop flight, VH-OJA, City of Canberra, on March 24, 1989, the first commercial airline ever to cover more than 17,000 kilometres.

8. On 14 September 1992, Qantas acquired nationally owned domestic airline, Australian Airlines

9. In 2002, Qantas’ launches new international subsidiary airline under the name of ‘Australian Airlines’.

10. Qantas flies to 105 cities in 29 countries worldwide: 52 in Australia, 28 in the Asia-Pacific region, 11 each in Europe and North America, 2 in South Africa, and 1 in Middle East.

11. It also operates many regional airlines too like Eastern Australia Airlines, Sunstate, Southern Australia Airlines, and Airlink.

12. Qantas has a number of alliances with British Airways PLC, which holds a 25 percent interest in Qantas Airlines.

13. The airline invests more than 19million dollars annually in the Australian wine industry through the Qantas Wine Program—and sources more than 250 wines to serve on flights.

14. Qantas’ freight service – Qantas Freight is Australia’s largest independent air freight services business

15. Qantas operates flightseeing charters to Antarctica on behalf of Croydon Travel.

16. Qantas has several in-flight entertainment systems referred to as “On:Q”.

17. In 2008, Quantas achieved a world-record for commercial engine performance with 42,019 hours on-wing

18. Qantas Airways co-founded the one world alliance with Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, Canadian Airlines and British Airways in 1998.

19. Qantas has a fully stocked self-service snack bar even for Economy class on long-haul flights.

20. Qantas is the main sponsor of Australian national Rugby Union team, Australia’s national association football team, and Formula One Australian Grand Prix.

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