Accelerating Change in the 1990s
In December 1992 the Government announced that British Airways had successfully bid A$665 million for 25 per cent of Qantas and in February 1993 Qantas received a A$1.35 billion capital injection from the Government.
The British Airways purchase was completed in March 1993, setting the stage for partnership arrangements in many areas to achieve economies of scale. The following month the Qantas board decided to merge Qantas and Australian under the banner Qantas - 'The Australian Airline'.
The pace of change in Qantas quickened in 1994. The airline sharply increased capacity allocated to Australian domestic routes to meet market growth and win back market share. It introduced a new cabin design for the core fleet as part of a comprehensive product update that also featured more comfortable seats, new menus and uniforms and expanded airport lounges. New intrastate services were launched in Western Australia by subsidiary Airlink and Qantas began its own flights to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A Boeing 747-400 painted in a spectacular Aboriginal design and called 'Wunala Dreaming' launched flights to Osaka in Japan.
By 1995, the year in which Qantas celebrated its 75th anniversary, the vision of the two young war pilots who founded their bush air service in 1920 had evolved into one of the world's great airlines.
Some of the airline's important recent milestones include the 50th anniversary of full Qantas services on the Kangaroo route between Australia and United Kingdom and the 50th anniversary of services to Japan in 1997.
Another historical accomplishment was achieved on 31 March 2002 when Qantas Chief Executive Officer Geoff Dixon joined Queensland Premier Peter Beattie to officially open the $9 million Qantas Founders Outback Museum which has been built alongside the original Qantas hangar at Longreach airport. For further information visit the Qantas Founders Outback Museum website.