Qantas Airways is Australia’s national airline and the third oldest airline in the world. Qantas stands for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services. Based out of Sydney, the company has its central hub at the Kingsford Smith International Airport.
Qantas Airways was founded on the 16th of November 1920. Its founders included Fergus McMaster, Hudson Fysh, Arthur Baird and Paul McGuiness. One of the first carriers was the Avro 504K, which was flown by an 84 year old pilot called Alexander Kennedy. During the 1920s, Qantas Airways manufactured several aircraft which included the famous DeHavilland DH 50s, amongst others. In 1934 Qantas Airways tied up with Imperial Airways of Britain and the alliance resulted in the formation of Qantas Empire Airways or QEA.
QEA was nationalized after the Second World War and the list of destinations offered were expanded to include Tokyo and Manila. During the 1950s Qantas Airways launched their Perth, Johannesburg, Mauritius and Cocos Islands routes. The airline started operating jet aircraft on the 19th of July 1959 and eight years later, in 1967, changed their name from QEA to Qantas Airways.
Privatization, that only started taking place during the late 1990s, was concluded in 2006 when Qantas Airways acquired Australian Airlines. Today Qantas Airways operates out of two major hubs namely the Melbourne Airport and the Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport. Qantas Airways currently has complete ownership of QantasLink, Jetstar Airways, Express Freighters Australia and JetConnect. The total fleet is around 220 aircraft strong.
Qantas Airways has a truly rewarding frequent flyer program. The program is dependant on the number of miles flown and even has bonuses which depend on the class of travel. Bonus points can be accrued when travelling on partner airlines or on any Oneworld airlines alliance flight. The points earned can be redeemed against upgrades on existing Qantas Airways flights or be used in lieu of new flights. Qantas Airways has a vast array of partners. These include hotels, car rental companies and credit card companies. Membership of the Qantas rewards programme is obtained by payment of a one-time fee for residents of New Zealand and Australia. Other country residents can join for free.
Qantas Airways has its own airline lounge known as Qantas Club. The lounge offers valuable facilities such as washrooms, showers, free toiletries, workstations, internet access, photocopying facility, fax facility and free bars that are open 24 hours per day, every day. The lounges also sport televisions, power points, free telephones for making local calls, and more.