Qantas is an acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services." Qantas Airways is Australia’s largest and the world’s second oldest continuously-running independent airline (behind KLM). The airline is based in Sydney, New South Wales, with its main hub at Sydney Airport. It has its headquarters in the Qantas Centre in the Mascot suburb of the City of Botany Bay, Sydney, New South Wales. In 2009, the airline research consultancy firm, Skytrax voted Qantas as the sixth best airline in the world. The airline has been nicknamed as "The Flying Kangaroo". It runs Qantas Club, the business-class airline lounge for Qantas, with airport locations in Australia and many other parts of the world.
Qantas was founded in the Queensland outback in 1920, by former Australian Flying Corps officers W Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness. It initially operated airmail services, subsidized by the Australian government, linking railheads in western Queensland. In 1934, the airline, in partnership with Britain's Imperial Airways (the predecessor of British Airways), formed a new company, named Qantas Empire Airways Limited. Qantas Empire Airways commenced services between Brisbane and Singapore.
After World War II, Qantas Empire Airways was in financial doldrums and was taken over by the Australian government. In 1967, the name of the airlines was changed to Qantas Airways Limited. In 1992, Qantas bought Australian Airlines. The next year, Australian Government sold 25 percent share of the airline to British Airways, as the first step towards privatization. Qantas and Australian Airlines were merged under the banner Qantas - 'The Australian Airline'. Today, Qantas is widely regarded as the world's leading long distance airline and one of the strongest brands in Australia.
Qantas covers all the major destinations around the world including U.S, Argentina, UK, Germany, China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and South Africa. Among the domestic destinations that it serves, you can count Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and New Caledonia. In India, Qantas flies to Mumbai city.
Qantas Airways has a fleet of 133 aircrafts, as of March 2009, which consists of modern aircrafts such as 38 Boeing 737 - 800, 24 Boeing 747-400, 29 Boeing 767-300ER, 10 Airbus A330-300, six Airbus A330-200, six Boeing 747-400ER and three Airbus 380-800. The average age of its fleet is 8.8 years.
Qantas has won a lot of accolades by Skytrax, which awarded it the title of Best Airline Australia, in 2005, 2006, 2008. It was also awarded Skytrax Best Regional Airline Australia - 2006, 2008. It was listed in the top five airlines in the world for five consecutive years, as Skytrax Airline of the Year. Qantas won the WAEA Avion Award for 'Best Overall Inflight Entertainment' in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006, apart from WAEA Avion Award for 'Best Entertainment for Inseat Systems' in the year 2006. It also grabbed the Inflight entertainment guide - 2005, 2006. Qantas has won a number of Wine Awards in 2005, 2007 and 2008.