Qantas Honours Aviation Pioneer Nancy-Bird Walton
Sydney, 30 September 2008
SYDNEY, 30 September 2008: Qantas today honoured Australian pioneer aviatrix Nancy-Bird Walton at a ceremony to officially name the airline's first A380 aircraft after her.
The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said Nancy-Bird was one of the legends of Australia's aviation history, and the airline was proud to recognise her contribution to the industry.
"I am delighted that Nancy-Bird has agreed to have this first A380 named in her honour," he said.
"Nancy-Bird's courage, resilience and optimism represent the very best of Australia. Her story tells us of the rich aviation legacy this nation enjoys and which Qantas draws upon today.
"It is a remarkable story both in its own right, and for the way Nancy-Bird's life interweaves with the origins of Australian aviation."
Mr Dixon said Nancy-Bird was a pioneer of women pilots in Australia - the first woman to command a commercial aircraft and the founder of the Australian Women's Pilots Association.
"Nancy-Bird began learning to fly in 1933, when she was just 17 years old, right here at Mascot. She was taught by the world's greatest aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, and graduated in 1935.
"Since then, Nancy-Bird has been a tireless campaigner for women in aviation. She showed us the potential for talented Australian women and the extraordinary influence that one bright individual can exert - and most of all, the sheer joy of flying."
Mr Dixon said the entire Qantas A380 fleet would be named after Australian aviation pioneers, including Charles Kingsford Smith, Reg Ansett, Hudson Fysh, Bert Hinkler, and the inventor of the Black Box Flight Recorder, David Warren. The full list of names would be announced on Qantas' 88th birthday on
16 November 2008.
Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3825)