Remembering Ansett Australia

I was digging through my piles of junk the other night, when I came across a copy of Ansett Australia’s inflight magazine Panorama dating back to January 1999. So how did I end up with it?

Ansett Australia's inflight magazine "Panorama"

I only flew a handful of times when I was young, and never with Ansett – my main experience of Melbourne Airport being the hour long drive from Geelong to pick up relatives visiting from Hong Kong. It was on one of these trips that I got bored with waiting for their plane to arrive, so to waste time I ended up wandering over to the Ansett Australia terminal, presumably so I could peer out the windows towards the planes.

Unfortunately back then I didn’t take photos of anything and everything, so I have nothing to show for what I saw, but the magazine details what aircraft Ansett had in the fleet just before their demise.

Ansett Australia's fleet circa early 1999

It was Ansett’s Boeing 767 jets that helps contributed to their demise – the grounding of those aircraft in Easter 2001 led to the general public losing faith in the airline’s safety standards.

Ansett’s response in May 2001 was a $30m advertising campaign, featuring the Vanessa Amorosi song Shine:

The advertisement was filmed at Sydney Airport terminal 2.

Jetstar side of Sydney Airport terminal 2

The end came on 12 September 2001 when the airline was placed into voluntary administration. Multiple attempts were made to bring back the airliner as a going concern, but to no avail.

10 year old 'Save Ansett Jobs' sticker in their former terminal

In May 2002 the former Ansett domestic terminal was sold back to Melbourne Airport for $25 million, with upstart airline Virgin Blue taking out a agreement to operate from the terminal.

A decade on, what is now called Terminal 3 still has the same Ansett patterned carpet on the ground.

Ansett Australia patterned carpet

Ansett fonts on the toilet doors.

Ansett Australia branded 'Cleaner' sign in their former terminal

And on the roof of the building is a forgotten ‘Ansett Air Show’ satellite dish.

'Ansett Air Show' satellite dish atop their former Melbourne Airport terminal


‘Ansett Air Show’ was the name of the airline’s in-flight news presentation – some further detail is here:

The SatLink digital distribution system was launched in 1994 and enables the delivery of twice daily news bulletins to all Ansett aircraft. Developed and built by AAV, SatLink was produced for the introduction of Ansett Air Show News. The system is activated from AAV’s Control Centre in South Melbourne and uses satellite facilities to uplink information, however SatLink also accommodates fibre optic or MDS technologies.

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10 Responses to “Remembering Ansett Australia”

  1. Beren says:

    And did we really need Ansett? I mean, we now have plenty of competition. One airline falls, and is quickly replaced by another.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      We have more than two airlines right now, but you can’t really call Jetstar/Qantas versus Tigerair/Virgin Australia twins real competition – just market segmentation?

    • Marcus Wong says:

      For decades we have TAA and Ansett under the Two Airlines Policy:

      Compass was a 3rd player following deregulation in the 1990s, but soon collapsed, leaving us with two airlines – Qantas and Ansett.

      We then had Impulse and Virgin Blue give things a go in the early 2000s – taking us to four. Then Qantas bought Impulse and turned it into Jetstar, then Ansett went bust, leaving us again with two airlines.

      Tigerair was another third airline, before it was bought by Virgin Australia, and back to two.

  2. Bobman says:

    Around the time of September 11.

    The first plane I ever flew on was Australian Airlines, another defunct airline. Liked their livery.

  3. Rod says:

    The wikipedia articles on Ansett and Reg Ansett make interesting reading. A lady I worked with many years ago recounted the time when she was Reg Ansetts PA and he’d commute by helicopter. Google earth timeline might bring up the old helipad. The stairs are still there.

    The training centre in Tullamarine had an open day on Easter Sunday if I remember correctly. $120 to have something like twenty minutes in any of the simulators. It was awesome.

  4. indigohex3 says:

    In 2001, me and my family was to fly up to Queensland to see relatives, and just before we were to fly up, it collapsed, so we drove up instead.

    FYI: Did you know that one of the housemates on Big Brother 1 here in Australia worked for Ansett and it was just before her employer collapsed?

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