History : Bob Ansett
Spirits of Ansett The Spirit of Ansett Team

The first thing I remembered as a child was flying on the Fokker Universal, the only aircraft in the Ansett Airline fleet at the time. My father, the pilot, was a larger than life figure to a four year old child. I later found out he was larger than life to a great many adults. Having grown up with the airline, although we both followed divergent paths, I was always reminded of what a great entrepreneur my father was and as such inspired me to strive to achieve my own modest level of success.

The final Ansett flight in March 2002 and subsequent closing of the airline brought into focus my own mortality and re-enforced a view that I have had for some time that nothing is forever.

Yet this airline was something special. Perhaps the only remaining major airline that still carried the name of its founder. During the 40 odd years of my father's management Ansett Airlines was respected around the world for its leading edge technology, modern fleet of aircraft and the relationships he had with his employees. This evolved into a mutual loyalty and was reflected in the incredible passion Ansett employees had for their airline and its passengers.

It's still hard to comprehend how an Australian institution which played such a significant role in the development of civil aviation in this country can disappear from sight and virtually be forgotten in less than a year.

Given what has transpired with United Airlines in the United States, it's timely to re-look at the benefits of a Chapter 11 form of bankruptcy, which keeps creditors at bay for up to 18 months allowing the enterprises time to restructure, become more competitive and survive if good enough.

From what I've been led to believe, the vast majority of former Ansett employees have managed to find employment since the closure. And so they should have as they would bring talent, discipline, and commitment to their new employers, characteristics which are always in demand but often in short supply.

Good luck to you all.


Bob Ansett