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Qantas’ seven-hour flight to nowhere runs out in 10 minutes

(CNN) – Before the pandemic, many of us viewed flying as simply a method of getting from one destination to another as quickly as possible.

But amid global restrictions, travelers have daydreamed of not just distant destinations, but the flight experience itself, from the thrill of take-off to unparalleled views of Earth from the cabin window.

This is where “flights to nowhere” come into play: air travel that takes place solely for the purpose of the journey, not for the destination.

Proof of just how popular these are now, a tourist flight to nowhere offered by Qantas sold out within 1
0 minutes, according to the airline, with passengers eager to catch the flight as Australia blocked almost all flights. international by paying premium prices.

“It is arguably the best-selling flight in Qantas history,” airline CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.

“People clearly miss out on travel and the experience of flying. If the demand is there, we will definitely try to do more of these scenic flights while we wait for borders to open.”

The seven-hour scenic flight will take a giant loop that will take you to Queensland and the Gold Coast, New South Wales and the heart of the country’s remote hinterland.

From above, flight enthusiasts should be able to spot popular Australian attractions including Sydney Harbor and the Great Barrier Reef. The jet will fly low over some landmarks, including Uluru and Bondi Beach.

Special onboard entertainment is also promised, including a surprise celebrity guest.

The trip will take place on a Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, usually reserved for intercontinental travel across continents. At present, there are very few operating flights to and from Australia due to travel restrictions and Qantas’ international fleet has been blocked.

The Dreamliner is renowned for its large windows, making it ideal for 9,000-foot sightseeing.

Flight QF787, which will depart Sydney Domestic Airport on 10 October and return to the Australian metropolis seven hours later, had 134 tickets on sale, in business class, premium economy and economy, and cost from $ 787 to $ 3,787 ( from $ 566 to $ 2,734).

New fashion


Nowhere Fast: Qantas is selling tickets for a sightseeing tour in a 787 Dreamliner.

Courtesy Qantas

Across Asia, where most borders remain closed, restricting leisure tourism, there has been a wave of recent destination flights.

And on September 19, a scenic flight will depart from Taipei Airport, giving 120 Taiwanese tourists the opportunity to see South Korea’s Jeju Island from the sky.

The trip should be an experience in itself, according to the Korea Tourism Organization press release, which features an in-flight quiz show and local cuisine.

A Singapore Airlines spokesperson told CNN Travel that the airline “is considering several initiatives that would allow us to continue engaging both our customers and the public. Currently none of these plans have been confirmed.”

From an environmental point of view, the proposal of an escape to nowhere is potentially controversial.

But while there may be concerns about unnecessary fuel use, Covid-19 concerns could be mitigated by recent scientific studies suggesting that the odds of catching Covid on a plane are lower than one might think, due to the systems of air ventilation.

That said, all airlines are operating their scenic flights with Covid-19 regulations in place.

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