Australian airline Qantas celebrates its 100th anniversary

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

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

The three founders, Hudson Fysh, Paul McGinness and Fergus McMaster, thought that the then-nascent company of air vacation may be the way to connect numerous considerably-flung outposts in the rural locations of Australia.

Its initially aircraft was an Avro 504, a pre-Planet War I biplane that could seat a pilot and one passenger.

At first, little planes sent mail and freight between rural Outback towns, but the airline progressed along with the nation and Qantas (this time in lowercase) became Australia’s national carrier in 1959. Its very first intercontinental flight route was to Singapore in 1935.

Its kangaroo livery first appeared in 1944 and accompanied the airline through the airline’s expansion all over the Asia-Pacific region and outside of.

“All-around the environment, Qantas is probably most effective recognised for its protection report, endurance flying and very long listing of aviation firsts. But for Australians, there is certainly practically nothing very like seeing the flying kangaroo at the airport, waiting around to just take you residence,” the airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, stated in a push assertion.

Amid the pandemic, Qantas operated numerous of the “aid flights” that brought Australian citizens again from distant corners of the globe.

It just isn’t only Qantas’ identify that has altered more than the previous century. The airline is credited with inventing business class and, in a non-Covid calendar year, it truly is the only carrier that flies to all seven continents.

Like a lot of other airlines all-around the earth, Qantas has been strike challenging by the decline in travel amid the pandemic. It has responded by launching a “flight to nowhere” where by passengers commit seven hrs flying in a loop throughout the continent, passing more than internet sites like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru.

When huge plans for the airline’s centennial ended up scaled back because of to regional virus control strategies, Qantas did operate a scenic flight about Sydney Harbor to rejoice the massive day.

CNN’s Angus Watson contributed reporting.