People still sort of dressed up to fly places in the seventies, but as fares became more affordable, it was much easier to grab a ticket and just…Go! The days of the likes of Boeing 727, Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC series are long gone and these old stalwarts of the skies are rarely flying these days except perhaps as cargo planes or really low cost airlines in some ‘far off place’.
Ansett flew 12 McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 aircraft, purchased between 1967 and 1971, of which this is one. Five of these went on to the US Navy and the others ended up with Midway Airlines in the US and many have now been scrapped or gone elsewhere after that company closed in 1991. This writer has a soft spot for this particular type of plane, the first she ever flew in.
Air New Zealand flew eight McDonnell Douglas DC8-52 aircraft like the one hiding behind the Ansett jet, which started flying between 1965 and 1971, enabling Air New Zealand to expand their network further with the longer range planes.
The Boeing 707 didn’t have a lot to keep you busy on a long flight, Ten hours is a long time to play cards or talk because there wasn’t much space to move about in the single aisle ‘cigar’. But it was exciting enough for students who filled many of the Qantas student charter flights in the early seventies, on their first big trip ‘OS’ with fares that you could actually save for. While the flights generally headed for Singapore, you could catch commercial flights into the old Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur by the mid seventies.
Sadly Ansett has gone, Boeing now competes with Airbus and Qantas no longer flies directly into Kuala Lumpur (only Singapore then Jetstar/codeshare to KL). Subang airport has become Subang Skypark further along the runway, a base for commuter and business flights and those flying out of the ‘old hangar’ in Brisbane have a much more efficient facility though not quite as cosy, to travel through.
Image credits ©SK and LL