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As the coronavirus pandemic continues inflict pain on airlines around the world, Qantas, Australia’s national carrier, has jumped on the bandwagon of launching “Flights to Nowhere.”
WHAT IS A FLIGHT TO NOWHERE?
Are you asking “what is a flight to nowhere?” Well, here is the basic concept, a flight departs a specific city, flies for a designated amount of time (typically a few hours), and then returns the same departure airport.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Singapore considering the idea of “flights to nowhere,” but instead the idea went nowhere as Singapore opted for a different route.
Well, according to Qantas, their first 7-hour scenic flight sold out in less than 10 minutes and yesterday the historic flight (aptly named QF787) took off.
WHAT IS INCLUDED WITH THE FLIGHT?
All passengers were provided breakfast in the Qantas Lounge prior to departure and had the opportunity to take part in an auction of memorabilia from Qantas’ recently retired fleet of Boeing 747s which departed in a classic way…
The carrier operated a 787, departed from Sydney and flew at a low-level (~4000 feet instead of the normal ~35,000 feet) over Australia’s Outback, Uluru National Park, the Great Barrier Reef, and Sydney Harbor on it’s final approach back to the airport in Sydney.
The flight path can be viewed in real time on flightaware.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?
Passengers paid A$787 (USD $574) for economy, A$1,787 (USD $1302) for premium economy, and A$3,787 (USD $2,762) for business. Did you notice they incorporated the 787 in the price too? 😉
It appears all passengers were socially distanced as the flight only offered 134 seats (6 in business, 24 premium economy, and 104 in economy) out of 236 available seats on the Qantas 787.
The borders to Australia have been closed to intentional travel for months. And in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Australia has also closed the six states and territories, thus this flight was only available to the ~8 million people located in New South Wales (where Sydney is located).
Additionally, the carrier had to obtain special permission to complete the Uluru flyover which shows how rare this experience was.
Regardless, ‘flights to nowhere’ are the latest trend in Asia, as EVA (a Taiwan-based carrier), Starlux (a Taiwan-based carrier), and ANA (a Japan-based carrier) have all sold these types of flights in recent weeks.
It is clear that a lot of people miss flying and the experience matters more than the destination.
Would you be interested in taking a ‘flight to nowhere?’
p.s. And if you’re curious about that BE-YOU-TI-FUL livery, here’s a little background… 😍