ANSETT AUSTRALIA 1936-2001
Ansett Airways, first registered in 1936, was formed by Sir Reginald Ansett. After an investment of one thousand pounds for its first commercial aircraft, Ansett Airways Ltd. was incorporated in Victoria as a public company in 1937 with services to Sydney, Broken Hill and Adelaide from its base in Melbourne. Ansett ceased regular operations during World War II and worked under contract to the United States Air Force assisting in the evacuation of the residents of Darwin and Broome.
In May 1946, Ansett Airways became Ansett Transport Industries. A decade later Ansett bought Australian National Airways and by 1958 its fleet had grown to over 40 aircraft.
In October 1964, Ansett introduced the first jet airliner, the Boeing 727, to Australian service. By 1969, Ansett had achieved the status of Australia's largest domestic airline. In 1979, control of Ansett passed to TNT and News Ltd and in 1980 a totally separate company, Ansett Air Freight, was formed.
Ansett Australia operated its first international flight on 11 September 1993. Air New Zealand purchased 50% of Ansett Australia on 1 October 1996 and purchased the remaining 50% on 13 June 2000. Ansett Australia, Ansett International, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines joined the Star Global Alliance, the largest in the Asia-Pacific region.
As at 30 June 2001, Ansett's fleet consisted of 67 aircraft, including 24 Boeing 737-300s, 20 Airbus A320-200s and 9 Boeing 767-200 aircraft. Regional airlines in the Ansett Group were Kendall Airlines, Aeropelican, Hazelton Airlines and Skywest Airlines, which together comprised a fleet of 53 aircraft, including 11 CRJ-200 jet aircraft.
On 14 September 2001, Ansett Australia was placed into voluntary administration and all operations of the group were ceased.
Negotiations on the future of Ansett Australia are continuing.