The Australian airline has decided to launch a seven-hour scenic drive across the country, which will take off and land in Sydney, despite ongoing travel restrictions.
Departing and returning on October 10, the flight won’t stop anywhere, but gives passengers the opportunity to take in views of Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and other landmarks.
There were 134 seats up for grabs on the Boeing 787 plane, priced between $ 575 (£ 445) and $ 2,765 (£ 2,145) depending on the ticket class.
“It’s probably the best-selling flight in Qantas history,” a Qantas spokesperson said.
“People clearly miss the travel and the experience of flying. If the demand is there, we will certainly consider doing more of these scenic flights while we all wait for the borders to open. “
The aircraft specially acquired for the non-stop service between the United Kingdom and Australia are redeployed by Qantas on 13-hour non-stop round trips from Melbourne, organized by Antarctica Flights.
Passengers are asked to pay over A $ 1,199 (£ 656) for a 13-hour flight to the frozen mainland and back.
Much of the journey is by sea, with about a third over the Antarctic continent.
“When they fly over Antarctica, most of the passengers get up from their seats and move around the plane, giving everyone on board excellent viewing opportunities,” the company says.
“The plane flies in long ‘figure-of-eight’ over various points of interest to allow these spectacular views to be seen from both sides of the plane.”
Environmental activists have strongly criticized the concept of “thefts to nowhere”.
“This is a real indication of our addiction to flying that we would get on a flight to nowhere,” said Anna Hughes, director of Flight Free UK. The independent.
“We are often told that we cannot live without flights because of what they give us in terms of experiencing and understanding other places and cultures. But all of these thefts give us, it’s a dump of emissions – something we can do without at this critical climate time.
The popularity of these trips is in part due to the fact that Australia’s borders are currently closed to all inbound travelers except Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members.
One-way travel is also prohibited unless citizens are granted an exemption.
The airline’s revelation on international services suggests Australia will not be open to visitors for the remainder of this year or for the first half of 2021.