The Australian Government and Qantas today announced a collaboration to support Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) Centenary activities marking the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.
Australia’s Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson made the announcement alongside Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce at the airline’s Sydney Jetbase.
“The Anzac Centenary is a milestone of special significance to all Australians as the First World War played such an important role in defining us as a nation and as a people” Senator Ronaldson said.
The Government appreciates the generous contribution of Qantas in supporting this significant period of commemoration and ensuring that more Australians can travel to Turkey for the services.
Qantas has added a special flight for Australians travelling to Turkey for Anzac Day – the Boeing 747 seats 364 people and will depart Sydney for Istanbul on April 21, via Perth.
“This additional flight is a great initiative by Qantas, and will provide the opportunity for many Australians who received a ticket in the ballot to travel to this historic Anzac Day commemoration,” Senator Ronaldson said.
Qantas has a strong connection to Gallipoli where two of its founders served, Sir William Hudson Fysh KBE DFC (1894 – 1974) and Paul McGinness DFC DCM (1896-1952).
Qantas has agreed to provide return flights for the widows of Australian First World War veterans travelling to Turkey for Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli. The widows, aged in their seventies to early nineties, will attend the commemorations as official guests of the Australian Government and will travel as part of an official mission party.
The widows will each be accompanied by a carer and support staff from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), including nurses and an Australian Defence Force doctor.
Following an expression of interest process undertaken last year, DVA is continuing to work with the widows and their carers to ensure their fitness for international travel in April.
“Qantas is proud to be working with the Australian Government and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to support the Centenary of Anzac events,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.