Qantas offers seven-hour 'flight to nowhere'

Asian airlines turn to'flights to nowhere to get travellers back in the skies

Dubbed the "Great Southern Land" scenic flight, passengers will board the airline's famed "Emily" Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which is normally reserved for global flying.

The seven-hour Qantas flight will depart Sydney on October 10 and return on the same day, with no stops along the way, to comply with restrictions on interstate travel.

They'll fly over some iconic landmarks including Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney Harbour.

The flight will be carbon offset and operate on a cost-neutral basis, Qantas said, amid some concerns being raised on social media over the environmental impact of such flights.

The Qantas flight, in a Boeing Co.

There were 150 seats listed for A$787 ($850) for an economy seat, A$1787 ($1930) for Premium and a few business class seats for A$3787 ($4,088).

"So many of our frequent flyers are used to being on a plane every other week and have been telling us they miss the experience of flying as much as the destinations themselves", Mr Joyce said.

"We knew this flight would be popular, but we didn't expect it to sell out in 10 minutes", a spokesperson for the airline said.

All of the economies where the flights are on offer have relatively low numbers of Covid-19 cases by global standards.


Among other airline stunts, Thai Airways International PCL this month opened a pop-up restaurant on the ground, offering in-flight meals served from airline seats to would-be travelers.

Though flights to nowhere come with significant costs for the airline, industry experts have said they are likely to break even on them, if not make a small profit, though they are unlikely to create any fundamental change to the bottom line for the struggling industry.

Pre-flight breakfast in the Sydney Domestic Qantas Business Lounge from 8 am before a 10.30 am flight departure.

Awareness group SG Climate Rally said the journeys encouraged carbon-intensive travel and distracted from the policy shifts needed to stop the climate crisis.

The Singapore carrier said it is considering several initiatives but no final decision has been made on whether to offer sightseeing flights.

The scenic flight will track over Sydney Harbour and up the New South Wales coast.

Planes specially acquired for the planned UK-Australia nonstop route are being redeployed by Qantas on 13-hour nonstop roundtrips from Melbourne, organised by Antarctica Flights. An Air New Zealand Ltd sightseeing flight over Antarctica in 1979 crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 people on board.

The airline says it is running the flight, called "The Great Southern Land" scenic flight because its frequent flyers are missing flying.

A Qantas Airways Airbus A330-300 jet takes off from Sydney International Airport over the city skyline, December 18, 2015.

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