To boost domestic tourism in the midst of the covid pandemic, Australian airline Qantas began offering “mystery” flights on Wednesday in which passengers will not know the destination of their trip until boarding.
Starting tomorrow, these flights of about two hours will depart from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to an unknown destination outside the major capitals, which will be revealed to the passenger at the time of boarding, the Australian airline said in a statement.
At the destination, passengers will enjoy a series of tourist activities, such as a visit to a vineyard, a luxury gastronomic experience or a music show on an island, before returning to their point of departure at the end of the day on the same day, reported EFE.
This initiative, which will be offered on weekends in March, April and May, includes destinations such as Sydney Harbour and the sacred red monolith Uluru, in the heart of the country’s desert, as well as Antarctica.
With international borders closed from March 2020 because of the pandemic, Australian airlines are looking for ways to increase flights, amid some criticism over the carbon footprint they leave behind.
Qantas “mystery” flights, which were popular until they were canceled by the airline in the 1990s, will cost US$576/€477 for economy class and US$1,235/€1,021 in business class.
Qantas Group Head of Customer Service Stephanie Tully noted that “as well as helping to get more people back to work, these ‘mystery’ flights are another way to support tour operators, especially in regional areas.”
These packages from Qantas, which expects to resume international operations at the end of October to coincide with the end of the covid-19 vaccination campaign in Australia, follow the offer of nowhere flights, which take off and land at the same airport, that were launched because of the pandemic.
Qantas, which posted a loss of US$862 million/€708 million between June and December 2020, announced last November that it was laying off 2,000 ground staff.