The Move to Sydney

Moving QEA files from Brisbane to Sydney

Qantas flying boats ushered in an era of stately and pleasurable flying. Built for comfort and safety rather than speed, the aircraft offered its 15 passengers "the most luxurious saloons ever prepared in an aircraft." Stopovers were spent at sumptuous hotels while the aircraft lay at moorings in a nearby lake or seaport.

Hudson Fysh described the delights of flying boat travel, "Getting up out of his chair a passenger could walk about and, if he had been seated in the main cabin, could stroll along to the smoking cabin for a smoke, stopping on the way at the promenade deck with its high handrail and windows at eye level to gaze at the world of cloud and sky outside, and the countryside or sea slipping away below at a steady 150mph (240km/h) if there was no wind. On the promenade deck there was also a practical useable space where quoits or even golf were played, and child passengers could play. There was even a demand for fishing lines at refuelling stops, where both passengers and crew members would enjoy the relaxation of dropping a line over the side."

With the flying boats terminating at Rose Bay, Qantas headquarters moved to Sydney in 1938. That same year Fergus McMaster suffered a serious heart attack and Hudson Fysh was both Managing Director and Acting Chairman.

Norm Roberts, a Station Engineer, years later described the move of Qantas headquarters from Brisbane to Sydney, "It seems amazing when you consider the present size of the firm, but on that move we loaded Qantas onto two flying boats and shifted the entire firm down, staff and all, one Saturday afternoon!"