MIAMI – On Saturday, Qantas (QF) became the latest airline to offer a rather unconventional ticket – one with no true destination. Affectionately dubbed ‘the flight to nowhere’, this unique offering from QF provides passengers a scenic tour of Australia aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a period of extremely low demand within the industry, forcing airlines to devise creative solutions to generate revenue and restore passenger trust.

However, QF is not the first to offer a ‘flight to nowhere’. Royal Brunei Airlines (BI), All Nippon Airways (NH), and Eva Air (BR) are some of the others who have offered these non-traditional routes.

Details of the Flight

The “Great Southern Land” scenic flight will offer 150 passengers the chance to see Australia in it’s full glory from the sky. The route was curated by QF flight crew and will showcase sights such as the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney Harbor. The aircraft will descend to 4,000 feet for a fly-by of key landmarks.

“We will angle the aircraft so that passengers on both sides get a great view”, said captain Alex Passerini. “It’s going to be a really special day and we are excited to be back in the air again”.

The QF Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner features the largest windows in commercial aircraft, making it an ideal for a sightseeing trip. Passengers will be treated to the Australian flag carriers’ famous hospitality onboard during the seven-hour flight, which departs and arrives from Sydney International Airport (SYD).

“I’m absolutely pumped to be stepping on board a plane again and one good thing to come out of the COVID-19 travel restrictions is the opportunity to appreciate what we actually have right here in our own country”, said frequent QF flier David Thompson.

People on Coolum Beach with a message for those onboard QF787. PHOTO: Qantas

Future Sightseeing Flights

Sightseeing flights have proven to be a win for passengers and airlines alike. For passengers; the opportunity to view landmarks from a unique perspective and enjoy in-air hospitality. For airlines; the ability to utilize long-haul aircraft, and generate some revenue while doing so.

Although QF has yet to announce additional scenic routes, potential customers are curious about this new trend. The experimental “Great Southern Land” flight sold out in less than 10 minutes back in September.

“People clearly miss travel and the experience of flying. If the demand is there, we’ll definitely look at doing more of these scenic flights while we all wait for borders to open”, said a QF spokesperson.

While unconventional, Qantas’ “Great Southern Land” scenic flight is just the latest example of adaptability and resilience in an industry facing unprecedented times.

Featured Image: QF Boeing 787-9 registered VH-ZND, the aircraft flown on the “Great Southern Land” scenic flight. PHOTO: Luca Flores/Airways