Before the pandemic most people viewed flying as just a way to get from A to B. In a time where Australia has grounded almost all international flights it appears people’s desire to travel is so strong that a “flight to nowhere” offered by Qantas sold out in 10 minutes.
In a statement from the airline’s CEO Alan Joyce, he said “It’s probably the fastest selling flight in Qantas history.” “People clearly miss travel and the experience of flying.”
It appears that just longing for a holiday isn’t enough for some travellers as they miss the thrill of the take off and the views of the world from the cabin window. It brings all new meaning to the quote: It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.
Queensland, the Gold Coast, New South Wales and the remote outback will be undertaken in a giant loop on the seven hour scenic flight. Attractions that can be spotted during the flight include the Sydney Harbour, Bondi Beach, The Great Barrier Reef and Uluru.
The price of the ticket ranged from $787 – $3,787 depending on whether the passengers wanted to be in economy, premium or business class. The flight will be undertaken on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which is usually reserved for long intercontinental flights but seeing as they have been grounded due to international travel restrictions they will be fuelled and ready to go. The aircraft is renowned for having big windows that offer ideal sightseeing from 30,000 feet. The flight was offered as a one off, however Alan Joyce said “If the demand is there, we’ll definitely look at doing more of these scenic flights while we all wait for borders to open.”
Qantas is not the first to offer such a service as it appears to be a growing trend to help the travel addicts fuel their longing for the recommencement of travel. EVA Air in Taiwan and ANA in Japan have already offered similar experiences.
The airlines are operating their scenic flights with Covid-19 regulations in place and some scientists say that the odds of catching Covid on the plane is smaller than you think.
Not everyone is a supporter of the flights to nowhere as they have been under criticism from environmental campaigners. Mark Carter, part of Flight Free Australia asks that people commit to not flying for at least a whole year. He believes that by undertaking the flight passengers would be “helping to destroy the Great Barrier Reef they view from their windows.”
None the less the flight will depart on October 10 with 134 passengers aboard.