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Qantas is an acronym for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited," Australia's oldest and biggest airline.

Since the merger with Australian Airlines in 1995, it has flown an extensive schedule between all Australian capital cities, as well as many regional cities and towns. It also flies many international routes to and from Australia. The airline was government owned until the 1990s, but was successfully privatised, with British Airways owning a significant stake.

Qantas Airbus A330-200 (VH-EBA).
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Qantas has a reputation for being an aggressive competitor in the Australian aviation market. Over the years, several domestic Australian airlines have gone out of business amid complaints of anti-competitive pricing by Qantas and exhorbitant prices on the newly non-competitive routes. As of September 2001, with the collapse of Ansett Airlines[?], Qantas holds a near monopoly on the Australian domestic air travel market. However, with several airlines venturing into the Australian market, such as Virgin Blue[?], this situation is likely to change.

Qantas has attempted to expand into the New Zealand domestic air travel market, first with a shareholding in Air New Zealand, then by a franchise takeover of Ansett New Zealand[?]. However, since the failure of Ansett[?] Australia, a situation it arguably worked very hard to achieve, the company has focussed on taking advantage of the lack of real domestic competition except for the relatively small Virgin Blue[?]. As of 2003, it remains one of the few full-service airlines in the world to be making healthy profits.

The company was founded on 16 November 1920. As of 2003, Qantas has never had any fatal crashes, though on one occasion an airliner overshot a runway and required such extensive repairs that the aircraft was virtually rebuilt.

Current fleet

On order:

  • Airbus A380 12
  • Boeing 747 3
  • Airbus A330 11
  • Boeing 737 8
  • Boeing 747 3

(As of 2002.)

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