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Qantas Pays Tribute to Nancy-Bird Walton

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This week, Qantas paid tribute to the life of pioneering Australian aviatrix Nancy-Bird Walton, who died in Sydney, aged 93.

The aviation legend learned to fly under the tutelage of Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith and in the 1930s was the first Australian woman to operate a commercial aircraft.

In 1935, Nancy-Bird operated an air ambulance service in outback New South Wales. In 1950, she founded the Australian Women Pilots Association, which provides mentoring and support to women pilots to this day.

In October 2008, Qantas named its first A380 aircraft the Nancy-Bird Walton, in honour of Nancy-Birds contribution to Australian aviation.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Alan Joyce, said Nancy-Bird had been a trail blazer for Australian women pilots and an inspirational figure in Australian aviation.

We are so proud that our first A380 is named after Nancy-Bird and will carry her name into the future, Mr Joyce said.

Nancy-Birds boundless energy, her courage and her vision for the role of women in aviation represented the best of Australia.

Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO, said, Nancy-Bird Walton had boundless energy and enthusiasm, and it was my privilege to meet her in Sydney in 2008. Her ongoing commitment to aviation and especially the inspiration she provided to females around the world will be her remarkable and enduring legacy for generations to come. She epitomises the Australian pioneering spirit. Airbus is so proud that one of the finest aircraft the world has ever seen, will forever be associated with this great Australian aviatrix.

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