Many prominent airlines may be experiencing financial difficulties but the only thing that is in the red at Australia's national airline, Qantas, is the distinctive tail of its jetliners. No wonder the red kangaroo corporate logo is looking so chirpy - he's laughing all the way to the bank with a bundle in his pouch. Qantas last year increased its after-tax profit to A$246.7 million (about HK$1.48 billion). How does it do it? It has a reputation for efficiency, reliability and safety. Qantas is the second oldest airline in the world, flying 17.5 million passengers a year. The airline of the flying kangaroo has been hopping around Asia for more than 60 of its 75 years. Most international flights come to, or through, Asia. Hong Kong has been on the Qantas map since 1949 and now takes 24 flights a week. Singapore handles 41 flights a week and Japan 38. In March 1995, Qantas resumed services to China after an eight-year break. It now flies to Shanghai and Beijing twice a week. It also has five flights a week to Taipei. Other Asian destinations are India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. Qantas - Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services - started operations in 1920 from Longreach in the Queensland outback. The kangaroo was just a 'joey' then but now it provides work to 29,600 people all over the world and flies to 96 destinations - one for each of its jetliners.