Australia's airline history is a saga of daring feats, can-do attitude, pig-headed visionaries, iron-fisted politicians and warring pilots; of humble beginnings and mega deals.
The story begins in World War One with the death-defying exploits of four bold young airmen – Norman Brearley, Charles Kingsford Smith, Wilmot Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness – who would go on to establish Australia's first airlines.
Conquering the tyranny of distance within our vast continent and between it and Europe, they faced difficult, often dangerous conditions – marred at the start by accidents and fatalities, but highlighted by groundbreaking, headline-grabbing flights.
Behind the scenes, however, battles were fought in boardrooms and with backers and bureaucrats to keep the airlines aloft. Gradually, businessmen replaced aviators at the helm of the companies, and takeovers rather than take-offs became front-page news. In an era of corporate giants like Sir Reginald Ansett, Sir Peter Abeles, Robert Holmes a Court and Rupert Murdoch, the stakes climbed even higher...
Air Australia revisits this grand but turbulent history.
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