Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally “QANTAS“, an acronym for “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services“. Nicknamed “The Flying Kangaroo”, the airline is based in Sydney, New South Wales, with its main hub at Sydney Airport. It is Australia’s largest airline, the oldest continuously operated airline in the world and the second oldest in the world overall. Qantas headquarters are located in the Qantas Centre in the Mascot suburb of the City of Botany Bay.
Qantas still retains a 65% share of the Australian domestic market and carries 18.7% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia.
QantasLink is a regional brand of Australian airline Qantas and is an affiliate member of the Oneworld airline alliance. It is a major competitor to Regional Express Airlines, Virgin Australia and Skywest Airlines. As of September 2010 QantasLink provides 1900 flights each week to 54 domestic and international locations.
Qantas was founded in Winton, Queensland on 16 November 1920 as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited. The airline’s first aircraft was an Avro 504K. The airline flew internationally from May 1935, when it commenced service from Darwin, Northern Territory to Singapore. In June 1959 Qantas entered the jet age when the first Boeing 707–138 was delivered.
Prior to 2002, Qantas’ various subsidiaries operated under separate brands. In 2002 a common brand was created, encompassing AirLink (a franchise, operated at the time by National Jet), Sunstate Airlines, Eastern Australia Airlines, and Southern Australia Airlines.
For a short while, QantasLink took over some of Qantas’ non-trunk routes, such as Sydney – Sunshine Coast, using Boeing 717s that were inherited after Qantas acquired Impulse Airlines. QantasLink ceased operating some of these routes after Qantas formed low-cost subsidiary Jetstar Airways, transferring the Boeing 717 aircraft and routes to the new airline. In 2005/06, eight of the 717s were returned to QantasLink following Jetstar’s acquisition of Airbus A320 aircraft, to be operated in Western Australia, Northern Territory and far north Queensland by National Jet (now Cobham Aviation Services Australia).