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Qantas Closing in on a Century of Air Travel
Few know it, but Qantas has a storied history of aviation travel that is closing in on a full century.
Originally formed back in 1920, Qantas is the third-oldest airline in the world the largest one based out of Australia. Its name is based on Australian territories Queensland and the Northern Territory with Aerial Services attached at the end. Given its Australian roots, the airline’s nickname is “The Flying Kangaroo.”
Qantas serves 65 percent of the Australian domestic flights and nearly 15 percent of international travel to and from Australia.
Over the course of its years, Qantas started out regionally. However, it soon banded together with Britain’s Imperial Airlines and started sending flights overseas to Singapore as early as 1935. The World War II conflict destroyed nearly half of the company’s fleet, but Qantas eventually recovered after getting nationalized in 1947.
After merging with Australian Airlines in 1992, Qantas gradually became a private company. Eventually, they co-founded the OneWorld alliance which includes American Airlines of the U.S. in 1998.
As of 2015, Qantas still had over 28,000 employees and served over 49 million passengers, a jump of over 25 percent compared to seven years ago. Though numbers indicate they have nearly 300 aircraft available, currently 117 are active. The airline uses mostly Boeing or Airbus models. As of now, Qantas as Airbus A330 and A380 models, but also have 11 Boeing 747-400s and their most common aircraft is a Boeing 737-800 Next Gen version.
In terms of routes, Qantas serves all the major destination cities such as London, Paris, Moscow, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Hawaii, and Singapore as well as vacation spots such as Bali in Indonesia.
Qantas has first class and premium economy seating on Airbus A380 and Boeing 747s. Business class seating is offered on all flights. On Boeing 747s and Airbus flights, the company has international business class have seating that are considered Skybeds for those who wish to take naps on long flights.
For domestic flights and those in the frequent flyer program, the first checked bag is free, but the next contains a $30 baggage fee. Qantas also weight-based baggage allowances on international flights.