Monday, November 9, 2009

What's Behind The Name

A year ago I was familiar with the Qantas logo, but had never had the opportunity to fly the airline.  Since moving down under, that has all changed and I have traveled with the airline several times.  At first I found the name interesting, and wondered where it came from.  I questioned if it was an Aboriginal word?
Well it turns out that Qantas is the acronym for Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service.  The idea of the air service was born in 1919 after two wartime friends, Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness,  were assigned to survey the land between Longreach in Queensland to Katherine in the Northern Territory.  It took the men 51 days to cross the 2179km of land never traversed by a motor vehicle.  The grueling trip  left the men convinced that an air service would be key in linking remote outback settlements.   Fysh later wrote, "We were convinced of the important part aircraft would eventually play in transporting mail, passengers and freight over the sparsely populated and practically roadless areas of western and northern Queensland and North Australia."  In 1921 the dream became a reality, and two war surplus planes began demonstration flights, and by 1922 a scheduled airmail service between Chaleville and Cloncurry was started.  Over the years the service began to grow and today the airline has hundreds of planes in its fleet with service across the world.
Today I will begin my long journey to my parent's home in Oregon with the airline known as the Spirt of Australia.

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