Australian airline Qantas marked the 60th anniversary of passenger flights between Australia and South Africa this weekend.
Qantas first commenced passenger services to Johannesburg on 1 September 1952, when a Lockheed Constellation L-749A aircraft departed Sydney and arrived three days later on 4 September 1952.
Following the first flight, there were fortnightly services on the route until 1957, when Qantas and South African Airways (SAA) announced a partnership to operate flights between the two countries on alternate weeks.
This agreement involved SAA operating DC7B aircraft between Johannesburg and Perth, and Qantas operating Super Constellations from Perth to Sydney and return.
Today, Qantas operates a daily non-stop flight service between Sydney and Johannesburg on a B747-400 aircraft, with a typical flight time of 14 hours and 10 minutes. The return leg to Australia is generally assisted by a favourable tailwind, with a typical flying time of only 11 hours and 45 minutes.
Qantas Regional Manager Africa, Michi Messner welcomed the 60th anniversary as an opportunity to celebrate the longstanding commitment Qantas has had to the route.
“Qantas values its long association with Johannesburg and looks forward to continuing to provide customers travelling to and from Australia with an exceptional experience from the ground up,” says Messner.