Qantas will tempt grounded travellers with a 'border-free' scenic flight beginning and ending in Sydney but sampling some iconic sights of Australia.
The ‘Great Southern Land’ QF787 joy flight will run on Saturday 10 October aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with a flight path encompassing New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
After heading up the New South Wales coast and crossing the Queensland border to fly over the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, the Dreamliner will continue north to fly over the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef. It will then track across the country to Uluru and Kata Tjuta to showcase the iconic red centre.
The day will finish with a low-level circuit of Sydney Harbour before landing back at Sydney.
During the seven-hour journey passengers will tuck into a Neil Perry menu, and before the flight there'll be an auction of memorabilia from Qantas’ recently retired fleet of 747s.
Read more: Qantas to auction off Boeing 747 memorabilia
“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," remarks Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
“Just six months ago, we would have never imagined not being able to jump on a plane and visit family interstate or take a holiday internationally, "
“While we may not be able to take you overseas right now, we can certainly provide inspiration for future trips to some of Australia’s most beautiful destinations. We could be on the cusp of a domestic tourism boom given international borders are likely to be restricted for some time."
Qantas says its Great Southern Land scenic flight "will be carbon offset and operate on a cost neutral basis."
While there won't be social distancing per se, middle seats are being blocked so that more passengers get a chance to take in the view from the Dreamliner's over-sized windows.
- Six business class seats will be sold at $3,787 each (earning 10,000 Qantas Points and 160 Status Credits)
- 24 premium economy seats will be sold at $1,787 each (earning 5,000 Qantas Points and 80 Status Credits)
- 104 economy seats will be sold at $787 (earning 2,400 Qantas Points and 40 Status Credits)
The flight will depart from Sydney Airport Terminal 3 at 10.30am on Saturday October 10, following breakfast in the Qantas Business lounge, and return to Sydney at 5.30pm.
Tickets will go on sale from 12 noon today at Qantas.com. Selected Platinum One members of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program have also been offered a 'pre-sale' of business class for the same $3,787 price or 250,000 Qantas Points.
Many airlines are turning to so-called 'flights to nowhere' – trips that start and end at the same airport – in the face of border controls and travel restrictions.
Singapore Airlines is reportedly planning flights for late October which will begin and end at Changi Airport, and may be bundled with staycations at the city’s hotels plus shopping vouchers.
Last month, Japan’s ANA sold tickets for a charter flight to nowhere, while two Taiwan carriers launched similar campaigns – Starlux Airlines introduced a “pretending to go abroad” journey and EVA Air filled all 309 seats on a special Father’s Day flight.