100 years of Qantas and the Greek Connection

100 years of Qantas: Greek roots

100 years of Qantas: Greek roots

Qantas and the Greek Connection

Happy 100th birthday to Australian airline Qantas.

The popular airline celebrated the milestone with a scenic flight over Sydney Harbour, but did you know that the 'flying kangaroo' had Greek names on its first planes?

'Perseus', 'Pegasus', 'Atalanta', 'Hermes' and 'Hippomenes' were the names of the first five aircraft.

If that wasn't enough of a Greek connection, the word 'airplane' itself comes from the Greek word 'αεροπλάνο'.

  • The first part “αέρας” means air.
  • The second part “πλάνο” comes from the verb “πλέω” which means float.

From humble beginnings

Qantas airline began on November 16, 1920 as the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (abbreviated to QANTAS).

Two young pilots, Sir Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness, wanted to establish an airline connecting the rural regions of Australia.


Harry Corones

When the company was launched in 1920, Harry Corones, the owner of a chain of luxurious hotels in Queensland, was one of the original shareholders with one hundred one-pound shares.

At Harry’s suggestion, inspired by Greek mythology, Sir Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness gave the Greek names Perseus, Pegasus, Atalanta, Hermes and Heppomenes to five of their first seven aircraft.


Qantas, the Next 100

100 years ago today, Qantas began from the remote dust of outback Australia. This is our story...

Posted by Qantas on Sunday, November 15, 2020


Over the past year, the legacy of the airline has grown. The flying kangaroo is now a globally recognised brand.


*Image Credit: Qantas
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