Post war aviation


Qantas faced difficult times after World War Two with an aging fleet and limited capital. In 1947, the decision was made to go into federal government ownership. A new fleet of Qantas Constellation airliners opened the Kangaroo Route flying all the way to London in December 1947. Other routes soon developed including Japan, Hong Kong and South Africa. Qantas domestic air services ceased in 1949 except to Norfolk Island and in New Guinea.

New Super Constellations operated the first Qantas trans-Pacific services between Sydney, San Francisco and Vancouver in 1954. Qantas Super Constellations also inaugurated a round-the-world service via both hemispheres. 


In partnership with the British Overseas Airways Corporation, Qantas re-established services to London with Avro Lancastrian aircraft operating to Karachi where BOAC took over the service.

Qantas flew the first scheduled services to New Guinea and the Pacific Islands with flying boats, DC3 and DH84 aircraft. Brisbane-Darwin services were also resumed.

The Commonwealth established the Australian National Airlines Commission, the organisation behind Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA).


The first TAA flight between Melbourne and Sydney took off from Laverton RAAF Base in September. Four TAA DC4 aircraft arrived in October and services to all Australian capitals were in place by December.


The Australian government acquired all the shares in Qantas and the airline passed into public ownership.

The first Qantas Lockheed Constellation arrives in Australia and through-services from Sydney to London on the Kangaroo Route began in December.

The first Qantas flight hostesses joined the airline.

Qantas flew its first regular air service to Japan on behalf of the RAAF carrying six passengers in a Lancastrian aircraft.


TAA revolutionised domestic air travel with the delivery of the first pressurised Convair 240 aircraft.


Qantas Queensland and Northern Territory networks and flying doctor services were transferred to TAA. Qantas would concentrate on overseas services including internal New Guinea routes.

Qantas begins services to Hong Kong.

TAA carries its one millionth passenger. The TAA network of 21,843 km was the world’s longest all-domestic air service.


The founding Chairman of Qantas Sir Fergus McMaster dies.

A Qantas Sydney-Tokyo civilian service begins. Military charter flights to Japan continue during the Korean War.


Qantas co-founder Paul McGinness dies in Perth.

Qantas begins services to South Africa on the Wallaby Route with Constellation aircraft.

Inaugural Qantas services flew to Beirut and Frankfurt.


Qantas introduces Tourist Class travel on the Kangaroo Route.

First Qantas Super Constellation arrives in Sydney and services to USA begin after Qantas takes over British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines.

TAA takes delivery of the Vickers Viscount aircraft, the first turbo-prop aircraft to operate in Australia.


TAA introduces Tourist Class travel on some routes.

Qantas’ last Short Sandringham flying boat service leaves Rose Bay in Sydney.


TAA operates Australia’s first commercial helicopter service from Melbourne.

Qantas carries the Melbourne Olympic flame from Athens to Darwin in a specially modified container onboard a Super Constellation.


The modern glass-fronted Qantas House is opened in Sydney as the new Qantas head office.

The inaugural Qantas service to Athens leaves Sydney.


The first two scheduled round-the-world Qantas Super Constellation services leave from Melbourne flying east and west, arriving back in Sydney.