Qantas Airways Reviews Are In: Safety Achievements Continue

by Christine Forbes Smith
January 02, 2020
Photo: Steve Creedy.

The Qantas Airways reviews are in, and its safety achievement of no fatalities – or hull losses – in the jet era continue as it enters its 100th year. But Qantas’ safety achievements goes much further than the headline of being named the World’s Safest Airline for 2020.

Over its 99-year history, Qantas has amassed an amazing record of firsts in safety and operations.

READ: Qantas Flights Win Major Awards for Service and Lounges

Qantas Airline Reviews Don’t Stop with Best Safety

In 2008, in a successful defence to the British Advertising Standards Association of its claim that it is the world’s most experienced airline, Qantas was able to list almost 30 notable industry-leading achievements.

These included the wartime operation from Perth, Australia of what was then, and still is, the world’s longest air route by elapsed time. The flight from Perth to Colombo, Sri Lanka, saw passengers given an award dubbed “The Order of the Double Sunrise.”

This service, using Catalina Flying Boats, took about 28 hours non-stop and was performed in radio silence to avoid the Japanese. When the flights ended on July 18, 1945, the aircraft had made 271 crossings and had carried 858 passengers more than one million miles without a single accident.

Qantas was the first international airline to operate an around-the-world service with its Lockheed Super Constellations in 1958 and the first airline outside the US to take delivery of the Boeing 707 in 1959.

READ: Qantas to Reach Zero Net Carbon Emissions by 2050

Qantas launched the worlds first round the world service
Qantas’ Lockheed Constellation launched the world’s first round the world service.

Qantas’ Technical Breakthroughs

The Australian airline was also amongst the first to pioneer technical breakthroughs such as long-range operations for twin-engine planes and the development of the Future Air Navigation System.

Qantas was a leader in using the Flight Data Recorder to monitor plane and later crew performance in 1962. Only six parameters were available, unlike today’s FDRs which monitor thousands on the most advanced aircraft.

Qantas' first Boeing 707
Qantas and Boeing executives about to board the airline’s first Boeing 707 for the delivery flight to Sydney in 1959.

Qantas has also been a leader in a wide variety of recent cockpit innovations such as automatic landings using the Global Navigation Satellite System as well as precision approaches around mountains in cloud. Dubbed GLS and RNP, these technologies are cutting edge.

Qantas was the lead airline with real-time monitoring of its engines across its fleet using satellite communications, which has enabled the airline to detect problems before they become major safety issues.

In 2018, the airline linked the last two permanently populated continents, Europe and Australia, with a non-stop Boeing 787 service from Perth to London which started on March 24.

READ: Qantas Gets Better at Filling Aircraft Seats

Qantas has a remarkable safety record
Boeing 787-9

The airline has taken that incredible achievement one giant step further committing to 12, 300-passenger A350-1000s to link Sydney and London and Sydney and New York nonstop.

Qantas Achievements
Qantas A350