Saturday, 11 April 2015

50 years travelling across the ditch.

QANTAS Airways yesterday celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first jet service between New Zealand and Australia. On April 10, 1965, a 104 seat QANTAS Boeing 707 (V-jet) aircraft departed Sydney for Christchurch, where it was welcomed by a 10,000 strong crowd. The new Boeing 707s offered a comfortable 20-seat First cabin and 84 seats in Economy.
Previously the Tasman route was serviced by a propeller-driven Lockheed Electra aircraft, and prior to that, Shorts Empire Flying Boats which seated a maximum of 15 passengers and took around nine hours to travel from Auckland to Sydney. The journey now takes around 3 hours.
QANTAS  now operates more than 200 flights per week between New Zealand and Australia, including services between Auckland and Sydney, Melbourne ,Brisbane and Perth; Wellington and Melbourne; and Christchurch and Sydney. Year-round weekly services between Queenstown and Sydney commenced in October 2005 and now operate three times per week, increasing to daily from Sydney and twice a week from Brisbane during the ski season. Jetstar; a low cost carrier owned by Qantas, operates across the Tasman, and within New Zealand between Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin.

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