12 September 2001

Ansett Australia, Australia’s first commercial interstate airline, collapses due to increased strain on the international airline industry, leaving 10,000 people unemployed.

Ansett Australia was once one of Australia’s major domestic airlines, but it ceased operations in 2001.

Financial Troubles: Ansett Australia faced financial difficulties for several years leading up to its collapse. High operating costs, labor disputes, and competition from Qantas and Virgin Blue put significant pressure on the airline’s profitability.

Ownership Changes: Ansett went through a series of ownership changes and restructuring attempts in an effort to turn the airline around. In 2000, Air New Zealand acquired a majority stake in Ansett, but it struggled to integrate the two airlines effectively.

September 11, 2001: The terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, had a severe impact on the aviation industry worldwide. Travel demand plummeted, and Ansett, already in a precarious financial position, was unable to recover.

Grounding of the Fleet: On September 13, 2001, just two days after the 9/11 attacks, Ansett abruptly grounded its entire fleet, leaving thousands of passengers stranded. This decision was due to its inability to secure further financing and meet its operational requirements.

Liquidation: Ansett Australia entered into voluntary administration and was eventually placed into liquidation in March 2002. The collapse of the airline had wide-ranging effects, including the loss of thousands of jobs and disruptions in the Australian aviation industry.

After Ansett’s collapse, Qantas and Virgin Blue (now known as Virgin Australia) emerged as the dominant players in the Australian domestic airline market. Various attempts were made to revive Ansett under new ownership, but none were successful, and the airline remains defunct.