On this day, 95 years ago, on 16 November 1920...

On this day, 95 years ago, on 16 November 1920, Qantas, Australia’s flag carrier, was founded.

Qantas was Australia’s original airline service and is the third oldest airline in the world. The name Qantas was formerly an acronym for “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services”. Qantas was founded in Winton, Queensland, on 16 November 1920, and operated air mail services subsidised by the Australian government, linking railheads in western Queensland.

In 1934, QANTAS Limited and Britain’s Imperial Airways, forerunner of British Airways, formed a new company, Qantas Empire Airways Limited. QEA commenced services between Brisbane and Singapore using deHavilland DH-86 Commonwealth Airliners. On 17 April 1935, the first overseas passenger flight from Brisbane to Singapore was operated in a journey which took four days.

In 1967, the name was changed to Qantas Airways Limited. It is now Australia’s largest airline by fleet size, international flights and international destinations.

The State Library of New South Wales holds extensive collections of manuscripts and pictures relating to the history of Qantas.