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Contributions From Australians To World Aviation


T.A.A. was born out of the wartime decision to nationalise the airline industry. The government was under pressure from railway unions in 1945 for only one airline, but legal argument resulted in a 'two airline policy' in 1950, allowing a government run airline (T.A.A.) to compete with only one private enterprise airline for domestic operation (Qantas being the international flagship).

Gradually they bought more economical modern aircraft and kept prices lower. At one time T.A.A. bought Vickers Viscounts and A.N.A. (the then rival) bought D.C.6Bs into bitter competition. By 1955 it had 56% of the business revenue. Later Ansett A.N.A. became the competition with more and more (Boeing,Douglas and Lockheed) jet aircraft, although they had at least one DC3 flying until 1972. In the late 90s Qantas absorbed the domestic airline and Ansett gained some overseas flight routes.


(Now known as simply ANSETT AUSTRALIA) Reg Ansett (see under PIONEER FLIGHT) finally gave up his chairmanship of 'his' airline in Dec.1981, on his death. However, in 1979 the real management of the airline was gained by Sir Peter Abel as (TNT) and Rupert Murdoch (News Ltd.) who shared the revitalisation of the airline industry. (In the early 1990s there was still basically a duopoly of Ansett and T.A.A. on the domestic scene, with Qantas as the only international carrier).

Prior to that, in 1968, the name was changed from Ansett-ANA¸ which had absorbed most of the 'State' or regional airlines that had been formed during and since the war. Refer to "Ansett" and "Holyman" among the pioneer flyers for early competition prior to W.W.2, when small companies expanding to compete for freight, mail and passenger services as the demand increased.

Australia has always had a 'tyranny of distance' separating the major populated areas (the size of Europe in some regions). Air travel was seen as a logical, though expensive means of shrinking that separation and the Government created the two airline policy, one private enterprise and the other Government owned. Subsequently in the 80s and 90s various attempts have been made to start other airlines of substance when de-regulation took place, but all have failed.

Don Kendell,founder and managing director of the Airline that bears his name, as a seven-year-old,ran barefoot for nearly a mile through paddocks full of saffron thistle to just watch a biplane take off. He obtained his flying licence in Wagga Wagga then went to England for his commercial pilots licence and started working for British European Airways flying Herons, DC3s and later turbo-prop Viscounts. Returning to Australia and,with his wife,they set up "Premiair Aviation" in 1967 with two Piper Cherokee aircraft (changing to Kendell Airlines in 1971).They offered a reliable, frequent service at the best possible price,taking over the Wagga Wagga to Melbourne route from Ansett and added West Wyalonq-Sydney and Wagga-Canberra.


They added a 16-seat fully pressurised turbo-prop Metroliner in 1979.. In February 1985 Kendell Airlines introduced its first 34-seat Saab 340 - and less than 12 months later, virtually doubled its network overnight when it took over the South Australian routes of the Ansett owned Airlines of South Australia. Services to Burnie, Tasmania, were introduced in 1989, extending to Devonport- Wagga Wagga and Albury to Sydney in 1995. The fleet now comprises 13 Saabs including three new Saab 340B Plus aircraft which entered service in 1995. In 1992 Don was made a member of the Order of Australia for his services to aviation.He enjoys recreational flying in his vintage Ryan STM and warbird T-28 Trojan.
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