Tickets for a seven-hour flight to nowhere were the fastest-selling in Qantas’ 100-year history.
Around 150 Aussie travellers will be heading to Sydney Airport next month for the flight of a lifetime, but they’ll be leaving their passports and luggage at home.
Desperate for a travel fix in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown, they’ll travel the vast expanses of Australia on a seven-hour scenic flight operated by Qantas.
The Qantas 787 Dreamliner departs Sydney on October 10, and will fly as low as 4,000 feet over popular Aussie landmarks like Uluru, Kata Tjuta National Park, the Whitsundays, Gold Coast, Byron Bay and Sydney Harbour.
With first officer David Summergreene in the cockpit, the ‘Great Southern Land’ flight will leave Sydney and touch down in Sydney on the same day, without stopping anywhere in between.
With Australia’s international borders all but shut (including many state borders), it’s a clever way for people to take to the skies once more, without breaking COVID-19 border restrictions.
Qantas – which last month reported an annual loss of almost $2 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic – charged between A$787 (economy), $1,787 (Premium Economy) and A$3,787 (Business Class) for the one-off experience, with just 150 seats available due to social distancing.
So popular was the promotion that tickets sold out within 10 minutes – one of the fastest selling flights in Qantas’ history.
During the seven hour flight, passengers will enjoy a specially curated menu prepared by Neil Perry, the chef behind hatted restaurants like Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple and Rosetta.
It’s likely to be the first of many scenic flights planned in Australia by Qantas, however frequent flyers won’t earn points for the privilege.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the one-off scenic flight was a small lifeline for some of the 20,000 employees who had been stood down since the airline was grounded earlier this year.
“This flight means work for our people, who are more enthusiastic than anyone to see aircraft back in the sky,” he said.
© 2020 Bernard O’Riordan (Travel Instinct). All Rights Reserved
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