Post War Expansion

Maintaining a DC3 at Mascot

After the war Qantas began the task of rebuilding and modernising its fleet. In 1946 a A$5.5 million order was placed with Lockheed for four of its new, long-range pressurised aircraft - the Constellation.

In the same year Qantas introduced the DC3 aircraft, `the workhorse of the skies', for Australia-New Guinea, New Guinea internal and Queensland internal routes. In rapid succession came the Douglas DC4 Skymaster and, for Pacific Island services, Catalinas and Short Sandringham flying boats.

In 1947, after considerable debate about whether Qantas should remain in private hands, the Australian Government acquired all remaining Qantas shares. Qantas maintained its role as Australia's overseas airline with Fysh as the new Chairman.

The first L749 Constellation arrived in October 1947, and on 1 December that year Qantas began its first regular weekly service through to London on the famous Kangaroo Route. The journey took four days.

Lancastrians were still operating between Sydney and Karachi and Short Hythe flying boats on the Sydney-Singapore route, but these wartime stalwarts were being phased out. The Douglas DC4 Skymaster was introduced in 1949 on new services to Hong Kong and Japan. In 1952 Qantas began fortnightly flights to Johannesburg, South Africa.

In October 1953 agreement was reached for Qantas to fly to North America instead of British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines (which Qantas eventually absorbed).