november memories / 16


16th November, 1920 : It may change the face of travel in remote stretches of northern Australia, or it may just prove an agreeable diversion for country people, but the partnership behind Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service Ltd is hoping for big things. QANTAS, as the company is already known, was registered today with a nominal capital of £100,000 at Winton, in western Queensland. Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, two wartime aviators, are the brains behind the idea, and a grazier, Fergus McMaster, has organised finance. The pilots are charging a guinea for ten-minute joy flights to help pay for commercial flights between railheads in the west Queensland and Darwin. But the biggest customers have so far proved to be bookmakers hurrying from one race meeting to another, who are chartering the company’s only two aircraft, a Bristol BE2e and an Avro 504K, both of which are war surplus biplanes.

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