Asiana Airlines announced today that it will operate additional international scenic services onboard its A380s to promote tourist travel to Australia, Spain, and Taiwan.
Flights to Nowhere: Sightseeing Takes Off
Previously known as Seoul Airlines, Asiana Airlines began operations in 1988 and is now one of South Korea’s major airlines and a member of the Star Alliance. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the airline announced in September 2020, that it was offering customers a new experience.
Asiana Airlines began operating sightseeing tours out of Seoul-Incheon International Airport. Described as “flights to nowhere,” these flights took to the skies of South Korea and offered travel enthusiasts an authentic flying experience, which many have longed for during the pandemic. These flights proved to be extremely popular and have resulted in additional scenic services to promote air travel and tourism.
The New Trend in Aviation
The concept of “flights to nowhere” has really taken off with airlines and their customers. Rather than taking flights as a means to travel (as they were intended), this new initiative allows a more relaxed, enjoyable form of sightseeing. As airlines look for new ways to generate much-needed revenue, these flights offer a way to keep planes flying and pilots and cabin crew employed during the global downturn.
This new trend has been seen across the world, with global airlines such as Australian airline Qantas, and Air India launching sightseeing flights. Qantas’ seven-hour sightseeing flight to nowhere was so popular that it sold out in 10 minutes!
Promoting Travel with Scenic Services
Asiana Airlines’ new international scenic services will depart from Seoul-Incheon International Airport and return two and a half hours later. The service in April 2021 will be branded to promote tourist travel to Spain and Asiana plans to operate scenic services promoting tourist travel to Australia in May 2021 and Taiwan in June 2021. The non-landing tourist flights aim to revive the excitement of travel and enhance the feeling of travelling abroad.
The Travel Experience
The tourism flight project starts with the concept of international travel in Spain. At the boarding gate of Incheon International Airport, the prestigious Lola Flamenco will perform a traditional Spanish Flamenco dance. In addition, the Spanish Tourism Agency will provide souvenirs such as logo bags and notebooks to passengers on a first-come, first-served basis.
All passengers will receive a L’Occitane amenities kit and an in-flight entertainment system (IFE), and all their mileage will be accumulated. As it is an international flight, passengers have to bring their passports and are able to use Asiana Airlines in-flight duty-free shops and Incheon Airport duty-free shops.
Asiana Airlines said:
“We prepared this project to revive the emotion of travel in Spain through the concept flight of the A380 non-landing tourism flight-“Meet Spain again”, and to give you the expectation of overseas travel.”
From a passenger’s perspective, there are two things that are driving demand for “flights to nowhere.” The first is the desire for normality and the second is the need to escape. From the destination’s perspective, it’s beneficial for them as they will be top-of-mind when passengers can travel again. From the airline’s perspective, Asiana has tapped into passenger psychology during the pandemic with these new scenic services, as demand for the “travel experience” and confidence in travel continues to grow.
Would you be interested in catching a “flight to nowhere”? Let us know in the comments below.