Bush Pilots Airways.

The in-depth histories of the individual aircraft that have been operated by Bush Pilots Airways / Air Queensland.


Background Information.


Bush Pilots Airways was founded in 1951 by Bob Norman and operated in Queensland, Australia until 1988.

In May 1972 Bush Pilots absorbed Queensland Pacific Airways Ltd taking over its Douglas DC-3 aircraft.

Queensland Pacific Airways Ltd was the trading name of the Queensland Pacific Trading Company. It had acquired a Douglas DC-3 aircraft when Qantas Airways had disposed of its last DC-3s in 1971.

In 1978 Bush Pilots Airways changed their name to BPA. BPA was now operating a fleet of Douglas DC-3 aircraft, Britten-Norman Trilanders and Swearingen Metroliners. Operations were largely based in Queensland, Australia, although the airline also provided a service to Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory. The services north from Brisbane (and return) were very popular with business travellers and tourists alike.

On December 01, 1981 BPA changed its name to Air Queensland. Air Queensland was the last airline in Australia to use Douglas DC-3s on regular scheduled services, the last being withdrawn on April 07, 1988. The Air Queensland name ceased to exist on April 30, 1988 when the airline was absorbed into Australian Airlines which itself was later acquired by Qantas Airways.

A Douglas DC-3 formerly operated by Bush Pilots Airways was placed on display at Cairns Airport from 1984 until 2008, when it was removed due to concerns over its structural integrity.

Air Queensland served 44 destinations throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory when its operations were taken over by Australian Airlines in 1988.