first_imgQantas celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first jet service between New Zealand and Australia.On 10 April 1965, a 104 seat Qantas Boeing 707 aircraft departed Sydney for Christchurch, where it was welcomed by a 10,000 strong crowd.Previously the Tasman route was serviced by a propeller-driven Electra International aircraft, and prior to that, Shorts Empire Flying Boats which seated a maximum of 15 passengers and took around nine hours to travel from Auckland to Sydney.The inaugural V-jet service was commanded by Chief Pilot Line Operations, Captain “Torchy” Uren and NZ-born cabin crew members Bob Bishop, Alan Williams and Alan Gill as well as Anne Claydon from Lyttelton in Christchurch.Qantas International chief executive officer Gareth Evans, said the fifty year milestone highlighted Qantas’ ongoing commitment to New Zealand.“Qantas is proud of its flying history across the Tasman and New Zealand remains an important part of our international network. Our humble beginnings of twice weekly jet services have evolved to a schedule of more than 200 flights per week, mostly operated by our fleet of next generation B737-800 aircraft,” Mr Evans said.“The milestone comes in a year when Qantas is investing significantly in the customer experience across the Tasman with a new dining experience  in Economy, Champagne and luxury amenities in Business and a dynamic schedule enabling more flexibility and choice for customers.”Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more