Qantas has been renowned for being on the cutting edge of long-haul travel with the best equipment: Connies in the 1950s, 707s in the 1960s and 747s in the 1970s. Along with that is a reputation for safety that is second to none. However even during the regulated era Qantas wasn't just a long haul airline as it had duties to perform closer to home. These involved using more primitive equipment well into the 1970s in the form of Douglases stalwart C-47/DC-3 and DC-4s.
By 1980 Qantas had retired its last Boeing 707s and was unique in having a fleet made entirely of Boeing 747s. This however only lasted until June 1985 when the first of seven 767-200ERs arrived. As with everything in the heavily regulated Australian aviation scene though, getting the aircraft was a bit of a fight...
After many years of solid profits and year-on-year traffic growth the airlines of Australia were hit hard in 1981-82 by a storm of troubles that afflicted air travel worldwide: increased fuel prices, an economic recession and a slump in passenger numbers. This was made worse for Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) and Ansett by the timing, which matched their introduction of widebody airlines and strike action by engineers.
Ansett was able to delay the introduction of its 767s from December 1982 to May 1983 however TAA already had several A300s in service. Even so the introduction of Ansett's 767s wasn't without its quirks!
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: