Dear passengers, welcome aboard this flight to Nowhere.
So it may sound on October 10 when the airline Quantas will embark on a seven-hour journey that will not take passengers anywhere except back to Sydney after a flight along Australia’s east coast and depending on the weather some sightseeing across the continent.
The Australian airline is wrestling, just like any other airline in the world, with the consequences of the corona pandemic and has reported record losses. To hopefully get some money in the coffers, they will now arrange a so-called “Flight to Nowhere”. The 134 tickets sold out in less than 10 minutes. The cheapest cost just over 5,000 kronor and the most expensive 24,000. You can think it is expensive for a trip that does not take you anywhere.
This is far from the only airline in Asia and the Pacific region that now finds itself forced to invent something to fill the ever-deeper holes in the coffers. Virtually all air traffic with passengers is stationary in Asia. Then it is important to invent new business models to attract aviation enthusiasts.
But honestly, how eager can you be to experience sitting crowded for a few hours. Yes, apparently the need is greater than one might think.
A Taiwanese airline has completed several sold-out flights and now the major airline in Singapore is planning flights to the new favorite destination Nowhere. The bankrupt Thai Airways is also in the starting blocks for flights nowhere. A representative of the company says that they expect that the demand for tickets and seats will be so great that they plan to fly with the largest passenger plane they have that can take over 500 passengers. It is not entirely impossible that demand will be greater than one might think. In online chat groups, aviation enthusiasts in Asia have started planning when they want to fly and they have come up with suggestions to the airlines which sights they want to see from the air.
The trips to Nowhere have also met with resistance. Environmental organizations in several countries are very critical of the fact that they plan to fly at low altitudes over climate-sensitive areas and believe that these flights can do greater damage than they think.
If you belong to those who are afraid of flying or can not afford to buy airline tickets, you have thought about it as well. Thai Airways recently opened a café that has been partly decorated as an air cabin. There, flight attendants from the company serve aircraft food and try to create an environment that is reminiscent of what it is like on board during a real flight. You pay for the food that you can get served on the small trays that you usually get on board. If you want, you can get a selfie with the captain. This has become such a success that Thai Airways is considering opening more flight cafes.
But if you are not content with taking a flight to Nowhere or having lunch at an air café, but rather want to steer a passenger jet yourself, it also works well. Several companies have opened their flight simulators to the public and now the waiting list is long for anyone who has dreamed of steering a jumbo jet.
I myself rule when I hear or see a plane in the sky. Before the pandemic, there were hundreds of planes over Bangkok in one day, but now there are so few that you stop and wonder where it could be heading.
Soon I can rightly say Nowhere.
Source: ICELAND NEWS