101 years ago today on the 16th of November 1920 World War One veterans Paul McGinness and Hudson Fysh registered Qantas as a business. Qantas stood for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd. The Queensland based airline started with just two aircraft primarily offering joy-rides and charter services. However the founders had ambitious plans from the outset. The ‘NT’ in the Qantas name represented their plan to fly overseas via Darwin, these plans were realised in 1935. However the first overseas flights were not from Darwin but instead a three and a half day service from Brisbane to Singapore on DH-86 aircraft. Then in 1938, Empire flying boats linked Sydney and Singapore introducing full cabin service complete with all the modern comforts.
During the first half of World War Two Qantas still offered flights between Brisbane and Singapore however by 1942 these services were paused with all Qantas aircraft being temporarily transferred to Royal Australian Air Force, to assist in the effort. In may 1942 a Qantas DH86 aircraft is used to evacuate 78 people from Mt Hagen in New Guinea.
After the war Qantas resumed commercial services and in 1947 offered flights from Sydney to London. By 1958 Qantas had routes covering both hemispheres in the world. Today Qantas has over 300 aircraft and is the worlds third oldest airline. You can find out more about the history of Qantas here