Thai Airways is opening up its Airbus and Boeing flight simulators to the public, seeking a fresh revenue source amid the travel slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Customers can get into a mock cockpit of an Airbus A380, Boeing 777-300ER, 747-400 or 737-400 starting next month, said the flagship carrier, which is coping with a debt restructuring under bankruptcy court.
Prices start at 12,000 baht ($540) for two people for half an hour, with a full hour at 24,000 baht and 90 minutes at 36,000 baht.
The 60-year-old carrier is facing one of its biggest challenges as travel restrictions pummel Thailand’s tourism industry. The company is restructuring about 350 billion baht (US$11.1 billion) of debt after receiving court approval on September 14.
The carrier earlier this month transformed its cafeteria into an airline-themed eatery complete with plane seats and trays, as well as spare parts made into tables and furniture.
Cabin-crew volunteers, many of whom have not worked for months since the lockdown, are serving customers.
Thai joins carriers including Qantas and Singapore Airlines in turning to innovative ways to generate fresh revenue streams amid the slump.
Qantas this week sold 1,000 drinks carts from its recently-retired Boeing 747 jumbo jets for $974.70 – the carts came fully loaded with wines, Champagne, amenity kits, snacks and business class pyjamas – and on October 10 will run the first in a series of seven-hour sightseeing flights on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Both the drinks carts and seats on the joy flight sold out within hours.
Singapore Airlines is reportedly planning similar 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.
Additional reporting by David Flynn
This article is published under license from Bloomberg Media: the original article can be viewed here