Qantas plans ‘flight to somewhere’ following success of ‘flight to nowhere’

Qantas plans 'flight to somewhere' following success of 'flight to nowhere'

A flight that actually begins in one place, then lands in another? What a novel idea.

Qantas Airways has announced plans to start operating “flights to somewhere” following the wild success of this month’s “flight to nowhere,” a seven-hour joyride that departed from and returned to Sydney Airport.

But October’s “flight to nowhere” had taken to the sky before Australia relaxed its interstate travel restrictions between New South Wales and the Northern Territory, and now Qantas is hoping to get travelers excited at the prospect of traveling “somewhere” — specifically, Uluru.

“Now that more borders are starting to open, we’re partnering with tourism operators on the ground to offer special flights to special destinations," said Alan Joyce, a Qantas Group chief executive.

“Now that more borders are starting to open, we’re partnering with tourism operators on the ground to offer special flights to special destinations,” said Alan Joyce, a Qantas Group chief executive. (iStock)

“We were overwhelmed with the response to our scenic flight while most border restrictions were still in place,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas Group chief executive, in a press release. “It sold out in 10 minutes and the feedback from people onboard was fantastic. Even the most frequent flyers said they had never experienced Australia from the air quite like that. And our crew loved being back on board.”

“Now that more borders are starting to open, we’re partnering with tourism operators on the ground to offer special flights to special destinations. Even though seats are limited, we think the awareness generated by these flights is a great way to get more people thinking about where they might holiday as we head towards summer,” Joyce added.

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The first of these “flights to somewhere” is planned as an overnight getaway, with fare including not only the flight but also accommodations at Sails in the Desert, an Ayers Rock resort hotel.

The "flight to somewhere" will include an overnight stay at a resort hotel near Uluru in Australia's Northern Territory. 

The “flight to somewhere” will include an overnight stay at a resort hotel near Uluru in Australia’s Northern Territory.  (iStock)

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Among the other included activities, which are offered in partnership with Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, are an Indigineous art workshop, a three-course dinner under the stars, a traditional digieridoo performance, and a guided tour of the Muṯitjulu Waterhole and the Kata Tjuta rock formation.

During the flights there and back, Qantas passengers will also be treated to low-level flybys of other popular Australian landmarks, including the Sydney Harbor.

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Prices for the first “flight to nowhere” package, which will take off on Dec. 5, start at $ 2,499 AUS per person for Economy Class (around $ 1,760) or $ 3,999 AUS per person for Business Class ($ 2,810).

Tickets went on on sale Oct. 29.

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Meanwhile, Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar are currently operating at “just under 30% of our pre-COVID domestic capacity,” according to Joyce, though he added that he hopes to see capacity grow if restrictions continue to relax ahead of the holidays.

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