Flight to Nowhere: The pandemic trend

As the world fights COVID-19, airlines have come up with a new ‘Flight to Nowhere’ concept to keep the travel lovers engaged and happy.

The latest to join this league is Qantas Airlines, which departs from Sydney on 10 October and will land on the same day in Sydney.

What is Flight to Nowhere?

The travel-hungry people who have been forced to stay home as international travel has come to a standstill with the lockdowns and travel restrictions. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the airline industry severely as it is facing huge losses.

The “Flight to Nowhere” concept arose out of the need for airlines. And the travel-savvy people who have been missing traversing the skies. It takes off from the city and lands in the same town after a few hours in the air, offering luxurious experience and sightseeing of the town and places around it.

Qantas Airlines and others

Qantas Airlines announced a flight to nowhere on 17 September 2020, and it was all sold out within 10 minutes. The flight will take off from Sydney and will land seven hours later in the same city. The plane will be flying at low altitudes, and passengers will get to experience air view of the Great Barrier Reef, the Uluru monolith, and the Australian Outback. The flight was priced from AU$787 to AU$3,787 for a total of 134 seats available.

Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas Airlines, said, “So many of our frequent fliers are used to being on a plane every other week and have been telling us they miss the experience of flying as much as the destinations themselves.”

Before Qantas Airlines in Australia, EVA Air from Taiwan has carried out the same with the Hello Kitty theme on Father’s Day, with all 309 seats booked. Royal Brunei from Brunei has carried out five similar flights since August. They have also allowed the passengers without a mask as the COVID cases are pretty low in the country, the airline staff though wears the mask.

However, this is expected to have significantly less impact on the losses being incurred by the airline and travel industry. This is because it will not affect the bottom line much.

Environmental concerns

The environment groups worldwide have raised concerns over these flights to nowhere. Airlines have already had a severe impact on the planet with their carbon emissions, and these not-necessary flights are only increasing the burden. Qantas has agreed to pay for the carbon offsets, and Royal Brunei says that they are using the Airbus A320neo, which has lesser emissions.

 

Image courtesy of NextNewMedia/Shutterstock

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