Qantas Airways Limited (/ˈkwɒntəs/ kwon-təs; ASX: QAN) is the flag carrier airline of Australia and its largest airline by fleet size, international flights and international destinations. It is the third oldest airline in the world, after KLM and Avianca having been founded in November 1920; it began international passenger flights in May 1935. The Qantas name comes from “QANTAS“, an acronym for its original name, “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services“, and it is nicknamed “The Flying Kangaroo”. Qantas is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance.
Virgin Australia Airlines, formerly Virgin Blue Airlines, is Australia’s second-largest airline after Qantas and it is the largest airline by fleet size to use the ‘Virgin’ brand. Now based inBowen Hills, Brisbane, the airline was co-founded by British businessman Richard Branson, the founder of parent Virgin Group and former Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey. It was established in November 1999 with two aircraft operating on a single route, and suddenly found itself catapulted to the position of Australia’s second airline after the collapse of Ansett Australia in September 2001. The airline has grown to directly serve 29 cities in Australia from hubs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, using a fleet of narrow-body Boeing and Embraer jets; and Airbus and Boeing widebody jets.
Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd, trading as Jetstar, is an Australian low-cost airline (self-described as “value based”) headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qantas, created in response to the threat posed by low-cost airline Virgin Blue. Jetstar is part of Qantas’ two brand strategy of having Qantas Airways for the premium full-service market and Jetstar for the low-cost market. Jetstar carries 8.5% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia.
Tiger Airways Australia Pty Ltd, operating as Tigerair Australia, is an Australian low-cost airline. It commenced services in the Australian domestic airline market on 23 November 2007 as Tiger Airways Australia. It is a fully owned subsidiary of Virgin Australia Holdings. The airline is based in Melbourne, Victoria, with its main base at Melbourne Airport. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA) grounded the airline in 2011; as a result operating bases at Adelaide and Avalon were shut down and it initially only operated out of its Melbourne base after returning to the air. On 7 March 2012, Tigerair announced the reopening of a second base at Sydney Airport.