Hazelton | Kendell | Regional Express | Rex’s 10th Anniversary
Hazelton and its founder Max Hazelton were pioneers of ‘bush aviation’. Hazelton started in 1953 when Max Hazelton acquired a single engine Auster Aiglet aircraft and provided charter services to stock and station agents from his brother-in-law’s
property at Toogong, some 50 km west of Orange, NSW. Max then acquired
more aircraft to undertake freight and newspaper carriage, aerial agriculture
operations and the provision of essential services, such as emergency
medical evacuations, for rural NSW. In 1959 the enlarged company moved
to its own airfield at Cudal, about 40 km from Orange.
The 1960s and 1970s saw Hazelton become one of the largest aerial agricultural operators in Australia. In 1975 Hazelton began its first scheduled passenger flight from Orange to Canberra. Within three years, rapid growth of scheduled passenger services and continued success of other services made Hazelton the largest general aviation company in Australia.
continued. In 1979 Hazelton started flying
into Sydney. In the early 1980s Hazelton
introduced modern pressurised turbo-prop
aircraft and in 1983 linked itself to Ansett’s
computerised reservations system. By 1993,
when Hazelton became a publicly listed
company on ASX, it carried some 250,000
passengers per year, had 15 aircraft and
employed approximately 170 staff based
in Cudal, Sydney, Dubbo and Lismore. After
its listing on ASX, Hazelton continued
to grow and by 2000 was carrying over 400,000
passengers per year and earning revenue
of around $69M per year.
In 2001, Hazelton was at the centre of a very public takeover battle between Qantas and Ansett. Ownership of Hazelton eventually passed to the Ansett Group. However, on 12 September 2001 Ansett was placed into voluntary administration along with its subsidiaries including Hazelton. Hazelton recommenced operations a week later and its passenger airline business became part of the Rex Group on 1 August 2002.
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