Forget ‘nowhere’ — Qantas launches ‘scenic flight to somewhere’ with overnight stay
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Qantas bosses have had to think outside the box to get passengers back in seats as the restrictions on travel for Australians remain some of the strictest in the world. So, as domestic travel restrictions start to lift, the airline is planning a series of overnight getaways to the best of Australia‘s vacation spots.
“Now that more [domestic] borders are starting to open, we’re partnering with tourism operators on the ground to offer special flights to special destinations,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
The first trip is to Uluru — or Ayers Rock.
The trip will depart Sydney (SYD) on December 5 and return the following day. The itinerary is set to wow the 110 passengers who bag themselves a ticket.
Starting with a Champagne breakfast, passengers will then board a Qantas 737 and head to Uluru Airport (AYQ) with up-close flybys of Sydney Harbour Bridge, Kata Tjuta and Uluru itself en route.
The ticket also includes evening entertainment, a three-course dinner and a sunrise visit to Uluru the following morning.
The first-of-a-kind adventure comes with a hefty price tag: a whopping 3,999 AUD ($2,800) in business class and AUD 2,499 ($1,750) in economy. Note that the flight is operated by a narrow-body 737, meaning business class is a standard recliner seat.
The success of the airline’s first “flight to nowhere” is what prompted the airline to take the idea one step further.
“We were overwhelmed with the response to our scenic flight while most [domestic] border restrictions were still in place,” Joyce said. “It sold out in 10 minutes and the feedback from people onboard was fantastic.”
Australians have been under some of the harshest restrictions around the world, as they’re currently not allowed to leave the country. That, compared to the U.S. and Europe, which are still relatively free to move around for business and pleasure.
These unique scenic flights are a COVID-19 trend we’re seeing being adopted by several airlines, predominantly in Asia, including Tiger Airways and EVA.
Featured image by @wendy.floyd via Twenty20.
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