Qantas’ seven-hour flight to nowhere sells out in 10 minutes

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(CNN) – Before the pandemic, many of us viewed flying simply as a way to get from one destination to another as quickly as possible.But amid the global restrictions, travelers dreamed of not only faraway destinations, but the flight experience itself – from the thrill of takeoff to unparalleled views of Earth from the cabin window.

This is where “flights to nowhere” come in – air travel that takes place only for the purpose of the trip, not the destination.

Proof of their current popularity, a sightseeing flight to nowhere offered by Qantas sold out in 10 minutes, the airline said, with passengers eager to take to the skies at a time when Australia has ground nearly all international flights to a standstill. by paying high prices.

“It is possibly the best-selling flight in Qantas history,” airline CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.

“People are clearly missing out on traveling and experiencing the airplane. If the demand is there, we will definitely consider doing more of these scenic flights while we all wait for the borders to open. “

The seven-hour scenic flight will complete a giant loop crossing Queensland and the Gold Coast, New South Wales and the country’s remote outback areas.

From above, avid travelers should be able to spot famous Australian attractions, including Sydney Harbor and the Great Barrier Reef. The jet will perform a low-level overflight over some landmarks, including Uluru and Bondi Beach.

Special on-board entertainment is also promised, including a surprise celebrity.

The trip will take place aboard a Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, usually reserved for intercontinental travel across continents. Currently, there are very few flights to and from Australia due to travel restrictions and Qantas’s international fleet has been stranded.

The Dreamliner is renowned for its large windows, which makes it ideal for sightseeing at 30,000 feet.

Flight QF787, which was due to leave Sydney Domestic Airport on October 10 and return to the Australian metropolis seven hours later, had 134 tickets on sale – covering business class, premium economy and economy and costing $ 787. $ AUD to $ 3,787 ($ 566 to $ 2,734).

New trend

Nowhere fast: Qantas sells tickets for a sightseeing ride in a 787 Dreamliner.

Courtesy of Qantas

Across Asia, where the majority of borders remain closed, limiting leisure tourism, there has been a recent surge in destinationless flights.

And on September 19, a scenic flight is scheduled to leave Taipei Airport, giving 120 Taiwanese tourists the chance to see South Korea’s Jeju Island from the sky.

The trip should be an experience in itself, according to the Korean Tourism Organization press release, featuring an onboard quiz and local cuisine.

A spokesperson for Singapore Airlines told CNN Travel that the airline “is considering several initiatives that would allow us to continue to engage both our customers and members of the public. Currently, none of these plans have been confirmed ”.

From an environmental point of view, the proposition of a flight to nowhere is potentially contentious.

But while there may be concerns about unnecessary fuel use, concerns of Covid-19 could be alleviated by recent scientific studies which suggest the chances of catching Covid on a plane are less than you. think so, because of the ventilation systems.

That said, all airlines operate their scenic flights with Covid-19 regulations in place.

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