Media Releases
Published on 17th April 2015

Qantas today celebrates 80 years of operating international flights in what is already a landmark year for the Qantas International business.

On April 17 1935 Qantas operated Australia’s first international passenger flight from Brisbane to Singapore, carrying two paying customers on a DH86 aircraft. Eight decades later Qantas passengers enjoy an international network that services every continent, spanning a network of more than 250 destinations in over 60 countries.

Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said Qantas had helped shape the global aviation industry, driving higher standards in safety, technology, product and service.

“Qantas has led many innovations that have seen air travel become safer, more comfortable and more efficient than ever before,” Mr Joyce said.

“We have seen journeys that used to take three and half days shrink to less than eight hours and aircraft go from carrying a handful of passengers to 300.

“Over the past eight decades, Qantas has invented business class travel, operated the first dual hemisphere round the world service and flown the longest non-stop commercial route with the world’s largest aircraft.

“Today Qantas International is strong, profitable and positioned for growth. It is earning its highest customer satisfaction levels on record; achieving greater efficiency through smarter fleet utilisation; and strengthening its partnerships with airlines in key markets.

“The global reputation for excellence that Qantas has today is a tribute to the hard work of tens of thousands of Qantas employees over eight decades, from pilots, cabin crew and ground handlers to engineers, sales people and corporate managers.

“Our people built Qantas international into the iconic, global airline it is today.  And it’s our people who are taking Qantas forward into the future,” added Mr Joyce.

To mark the 80th anniversary of Qantas’ inaugural international flight, customers travelling on today’s QF51 from Brisbane to Singapore were greeted with a Merlion dance and celebratory balloons and cakes at the departure gate. A special decal has been fitted to the A330 that will operate the flight.

As the world’s oldest continually operating airline Qantas will this year celebrate its 95th birthday, marking the start of domestic flights in Australia 15 years before it started flying internationally.

Qantas International then and now:



Qantas International Milestones:

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