COVID-19 has created difficult times for the aviation industry.Â But now some are finding innovative ways of improving cash flows and servicing aircraft. Â Destination Nowhere could become the new trend in flying. Â Some flights donâ€™t take off, some visit virtual destinations and some do a sightseeing loop.Â In August, the ANA Blue Flying Honu, part of the Hawaiian fleet, operated a sightseeing flight around Tokyo.
ANA Blue Flying Honu Sightseeing Flight Around Tokyo
Since late March the whole ANA airlineâ€™s fleet has been grounded so, rather than simply sitting around, the airline decided to operate a sightseeing flight. Â ANA used a lottery process to choose the 334 passengers. Â Prices for this flight ranged from $132 (economy) to $470 (first-class).Â The flight left Narita Airport and returned there 90 minutes later.Â Capacity was reduced to 64% to enable social distancing.Â Cocktails were served onboard and ground staff wore Hawaiian-themed shirts.
ANA has scheduled a second flight for September 20th.Â The airlineâ€™s newer, emerald green Â Airbus A380 will perform this flight. Â Variations of the fight to nowhere include some that never leave the ground.
Destination Nowhere Flights That Stay on the Ground
Taipeiâ€™s Songshan Airport in Taiwan was one of the first places to operate a flight to nowhere.Â This airport had recently undergone an extensive renovation that included a brand new lounge.Â To compensate for the dramatic drop in traffic the airport hosted a “pretend to leave the country” tour. Â This shows off its new facilities to potential passengers giving them a full airline experience without leaving the airport. Â This experience proved to be very popular with more than 7,000 people taking part in the raffle for tickets.
EVA Air was part of the ground experience and also organised a special experience in August that did leave the airport. This flight took off from Taipei Taoyuan Airport, flew for two hours and 45 minutes then landed right back where it started.Â Other Airlines are getting on board the Destination Nowhere experience.
Â More Tickets on Flights to Destination Nowhere
Starlux Airlines offered the Starlux experience on a â€˜pretending to go abroadâ€™Â sightseeing flight, by heading out over the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea before returning to base. Â This airline is planning more flights of a similar nature.
Royal Brunei Airlines has started operating â€˜Dine and Flyâ€™ sightseeing trips.Â The first one took place on August 16.Â It lasted 85 minutes with 99 passengers. Passengers ate brunch on board while viewing the island of Borneo below them.
Singapore Airlines is planning three-hour flights from Changi to Changi starting before the end of October.Â The Australian airline, Qantas, is re-instating its sightseeing flights to Antarctica. Â It will use its Boeing 787 Dreamliner to make this trip.
Do you think Destination Nowhere will take off? Let us know in the comments.