Skip To Content

    A Brief History Of The Rise And Fall Of Ansett Australia

    The former Australian airline gave Qantas a run for its money.

    In 1935, Reg Ansett of the small Victorian town of Inglewood founded Ansett Airlines.

    The airline's first route was between Hamilton and Melbourne.

    The airline slowly expanded over the decades and in the 1970s introduced flying boat services from Rose Bay in Sydney to Lord Howe Island.

    In 1979 just as Ansett started expanding to international flights, Reg Ansett lost control of the company to transport company TNT and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

    The airline then began to prosper in the 1980s, quickly becoming one of the major players in the Australian aviation industry.

    It also regularly changed paint liveries in hopes of finding one that represented Australia.

    Eventually they embraced the "A" surrounded by the Southern Cross.

    For a long time Ansett provided strong competition for Qantas.

    And it even became the official airline for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

    In February 2000, Air New Zealand became the primary stockholder in Ansett, acquiring full ownership of the airline by purchasing Newscorp's stake.

    It was also during this time that Virgin Blue (Virgin Australia) launched, instantly becoming a direct competitor for both Qantas and Ansett in the domestic market.

    Due to added competition, an ageing fleet and the grounding of the airlines entire fleet of Boeing 767s due to maintenance faults, Ansett was placed in voluntary administration in 2001.

    Ansett announced it would cease operations. Its last flight was on the 4th of March 2002.

    The airline's planes were either sold to other airlines, or for scrap metal.

    The remaining ones were left in aircraft boneyards.

    It may be 12 years since the airline folded, but it will always go down as an airline which helped paved the way for the Australian aviation industry.

    Read about the full history of Ansett Australia here.