17 February 1936- 05 March 2002


Replica of Fokker Universal VH-UTO in the Ansett Sydney Terminal 

Ansett Airways commenced operations with its first flight from Hamilton to Melbourne on 17 February 1936 operated by a single engine Fokker Universal.
Its last flight operated by an Airbus A320 (as Ansett Airlines) departed from Perth shortly before midnight on 04 March 2002 arriving in Sydney about 6am on 05 March.

In between these dates the airline progressed from having one plane operating one short route to covering all Australian states and territories with the most comprehensive route network and some 133 aircraft, carrying around 13 million people a year. 

In addition the Ansett empire grew to include road freight (Ansett Freight Express), passenger bus and tours (Ansett Pioneer), TV (Channel 0 in Melbourne & Brisbane), Hotels (Gateway Inn) and other operations.  Interests in Diners Club Australia, a finance company - Associated Securities and Biro Bic were also held at different times.

In the airline business Ansett Airways took over the much larger private enterprise airline Australian National Airways in 1957 as the latter was about to go out of business due to bankruptcy. This was followed by the acquisition of Butler Air Transport (later Airlines of New South Wales), Queensland Airlines, Guinea Airways (Airlines of South Australia), MacRobertson Miller Airlines (Airlines of WA). Airlines of South Australia was closed in 1986 while the others were integrated into Ansett Airlines during the 1980's. Other airlines that were acquired at later dates were Kendell Airlines, Hazelton Airlines, Skywest.

The aircraft types operated by Ansett and its subsidiary airlines during the company's 66 year history included:

Douglas Aircraft Corporation
DC3, DC4, DC5, DC6, DC9

DC3 VH-ABR which was operated by Airlines of South Australia in the 1960's.


Boeing Aircraft
B727, B737, B747, B767

F27, F28, F50

Airlines of South Australia F-27 VH-FNI (City of Whyalla) at Adelaide Airport

Vickers Aircraft
V756, V812, V832

Lockheed Aircraft

Consolidated Vultee
Convair CV440 Metropolitan

Convair CV440 VH-BZN of Airlines of South Australia at Adelaide Airport about 1971

Sikorsky Helicopters

From 1936-1979 the airline was controlled by its founder Reginald Myles Ansett later Sir Reginald Ansett. 

In 1979 a hostile takeover bid by TNT Ltd and News Ltd was successfuyl. Neither of the new owners were really interested in the airline but wanted the company for its road freight and TV operations respectively. 
Sir Reginald Ansett died in 1981. 

In the 1990's ownership was transferred to Air New Zealand before operating losses and lack of funds for re-equipping the airline forced its grounding on 14 Sep 2001. Limited operations between capital cities while attempts to sell the operations continued from late September until 04 March 2002, when a bid to takeover the business by 2 Melbourne businessmen (Lindsay Fox and Solomon Lew) failed and all operations ceased.

Some Ansett subsidiaries (Kendell Airlines, Skywest, Hazelton Airlines) escaped the closure and continued to operate.



Some pictures of Ansett aircraft and images of Ansett timetables and other documents are on this and linked pages.

In the background in this picture, taken about 1971, is an Ansett Carvair
A Piaggio P166 is in the foreground in front of it.

                                        Ansett B727-100 VH-RMS at Adelaide Airport late in 1975 


c. 1971, Ansett Lockheed Electra L188 VH-RMA at Adelaide Airport. 


  Ansett A320 about to take off from Adelaide Airport. 09 April 1999


Some Ansett Timetables


July 1960                                                        October 1974                                            March 1986
                                                                                                                            Ansett 50th Anniversary



                        October 1988                                                                        July 1992

                    Introduction of A320 aircraft


To see a near full size image of one page from the 1960 timetable click on the image.
Note that the page will take a while to download, the image being 130k in size.





OTHER ANSETT PAGES                                    Ansett A320 at Melbourne Airport, 07 Jan 2002




The image of the Ansett logo at the top of this page was taken from a photo of an Ansett A320 at Melbourne Airport on 07 Jan 2002.

This page was created on 05 March 2002 and last updated on 30 September 2007. (c) Robert D Blair 2002-2007.