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Air­lines try sight­see­ing trip to nowhere

- Chris Wood­yard Airlines · Transportation · Travel · Industries · Qantas · Taiwan · Eva Air · Taipei · Bangkok · Japan · All Nippon Airways · Tokyo · Honolulu · Singapore · Great Barrier Reef · Uluru · Byron Bay · Boeing · Boeing 747 · California · Pan American Airways Corporation · Singapore Airlines

For those who can’t wait to get back to the skies, some air­lines have started to of­fer sight­see­ing flights that of­fer all the thrill of air travel with­out ac­tu­ally go­ing any­where.

Aus­tralian car­rier Qan­tas Air­ways has of­fered a flight billed as the Great South­ern Land Scenic flight that both takes off from and lands in Syd­ney.

Tai­wan-based EVA Air flew “Hello Kitty” themed flights roundtrip from and to Taipei in Au­gust, the Bangkok Post re­ports. Japan’s ANA of­fered a brief sight­see­ing flight from Tokyo in Au­gust on the planes it nor­mally uses on the Honolulu run. The air­line says 300 pas­sen­gers “en­joyed a Hawaiian re­sort ex­pe­ri­ence at the air­port and on­board.”

Sin­ga­pore Air­lines is weigh­ing whether to give the con­cept a go. “Sin­ga­pore Air­lines is con­sid­er­ing sev­eral ini­tia­tives that would al­low us to con­tinue en­gag­ing both our cus­tomers and mem­bers of the pub­lic. Cur­rently, none of these plans have been firmed up,” spokesman James Boyd said.

Air­lines have seen vastly re­duced in­ter­est in travel from most trav­el­ers dur­ing the pan­demic. The spe­cial flights op­er­ate on the the­ory that a car­rier’s most loyal cus­tomers feel cooped up and are ready to go some­where — even if it’s not any­where, re­ally.

Look no fur­ther for proof than the Qan­tas flight sched­uled for Oct. 10: Its 134 tickets re­port­edly sold out in 10 min­utes at prices, de­pend­ing on the class, from $566 to $2,734, CNN re­ports.

Qan­tas says those aboard will see such Down Un­der land­marks as the Great Bar­rier Reef, the mas­sive sand­stone for­ma­tion Uluru, the Kata Tjuta rock domes, scenic By­ron Bay and Syd­ney Har­bor from the win­dows of their Boe­ing 787.

“Re­lax in the sky in Qan­tas py­ja­mas” – yes, that’s Aussie for PJs – “as your flight makes its way around the coun­try with a few sur­prises along the way.”

To those who don’t pay close at­ten­tion to the de­tails of the pro­mo­tion, one of those sur­prises might be that there are no in-flight movies. The air­line en­cour­ages pas­sen­gers to bring their own en­ter­tain­ment play­ers. No wor­ries, mate! Be­ing the spe­cial flight that it is, lots more is planned.

The air­line says there will be a live char­ity auc­tion of orig­i­nal and lim­ited Qan­tas 747 mem­o­ra­bilia – the last of the jumbo jets was re­tired – and a ses­sion in a 787 flight sim­u­la­tor. There is also a fancy lunch aboard, a celebrity host and en­ter­tain­ment.

For Amer­i­cans who dream of the ex­pe­ri­ence but don’t want to ac­tu­ally fly, one Cal­i­for­nia out­fit had been of­fer­ing its own nos­tal­gic flights to nowhere. “The Pan Am Ex­pe­ri­ence” took pas­sen­gers in the shell of for­mer 747 that’s now used for movie sets.

Alas, even though it never gets in the air, it, too, is grounded due to the pan­demic.

 ?? QAN­TAS AIR­WAYS ?? Aus­tralian car­rier Qan­tas is of­fer­ing a sight­see­ing trip on a 787 jet­liner. It’s a seven-hour roundtrip tak­ing off and landing in Syd­ney.
QAN­TAS AIR­WAYS Aus­tralian car­rier Qan­tas is of­fer­ing a sight­see­ing trip on a 787 jet­liner. It’s a seven-hour roundtrip tak­ing off and landing in Syd­ney.

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