Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The company was first started by Reg Ansett in 1935 as Ansett Airways Pty. Ltd. The business floated in 1937, but was contracting for the USAAF during the war. The post war years were marked with numerous acquisitions, including Australian National Airways (1957). The airline was also prosperous during the second half of the century, especially in the 1980s. However investments such as a share in the US airline America West Airlines (which filed for bankruptcy but survived) and its Hamilton Island resort (which went into receivership), performed badly. Air New Zealand, previously a 50% share holder, acquired full ownership of Ansett in February 2000 buying out News Corporation. Competition from Qantas and a succession of start up airlines, an ageing fleet and the grounding of the Boeing 767 fleet due to maintenance irregularities left Ansett seriously short of cash. Ansett also paid millions of dollars for the right to be official airline of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, an investment generally regarded as unwise. Ansett became a drain on its parent and Air New Zealand itself was ultimately bailed out by the New Zealand government. It placed the Ansett group into voluntary administration on September 13, 2001. A day later, the administrator decided that Ansett was not viable and grounded the fleets of Ansett as well of its subsidiaries Hazelton Airlines, Kendell, Skywest and Aeropelican.
After receiving a federal government guarantee, Ansett resumed limited services between major cities on October 1, 2001. This was referred to as 'Ansett Mark II'. In November 2001 Melbourne businessmen Solomon Lew and Lindsay Fox , under the name 'Tesna', reached agreement to buy most of Ansett's assets. This agreement, although well advanced, collapsed in February 2002. With no other saviours, Ansett ceased operations permanently on March 4, 2002.
The process of administration of the companies' assets continues to this day with employees receiving AUD $544.7 million out of entitlements estimated at AUD $766.4 million (or about 71 cents in the dollar) and it is expected that another AUD $85.1 million. Ansett's administrators, KordaMentha, told creditors that it was unlikely much more money due to the depression of the global aviation industry after September 11 hurting the value of aircraft which were initially valued at AUD $300 million, to just AUD $70 million. Some aircraft in heavy maintenance were broken up as it was not cost effective to restore them to an airworthy state. Most of the Boeing 767 fleet remained parked at Melbourne until late 2004 when sold for spare parts.
Ansett New Zealand
Ansett New Zealand was closely related to its Australian counterpart, serving the New Zealand market. In 2000, Ansett New Zealand was renamed Tasman Pacific Airlines of New Zealand, operating under the Qantas name and brand. It went into receivership, and subsequently into liquidation, in 2001.
Ansett Australia was one of the major sponsors of the AFL, holding the naming rights to the AFL pre season competition, the Ansett Australia Cup. It was also a major sponsor of Waverley Park/VFL Park. The logo was visible around the stadium
Ansett was also a Major Sponsor of Australian Cricket, with the Ansett Australia Test Series a prominent fixture of the Australian Summer. Ansett's logo (called the StarMark) appeared on all player's training and game shirts, as well as around the boundary and on the field during the Test Series'.
- Mentha M. & Korda M., "Ansett Group of Companies - Fourth Report to Creditors", 2004, Online
- Ansett Australia - site with further information about the administration of the company
- Ansett Airlines ephemera digitised and held by the National Library of Australia
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