Great Britain

Qantas launches mystery flights

An airline has launched “mystery flights”, where passengers have no idea where they’re going, in a bid to tempt back more customers.

Qantas has announced its new domestic flights will depart from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, fly to an unknown destination no more than two hours away, and offer an experience on the ground before the return flight.

Experiences could include winemaking, a gourmet lunch or snorkelling by a tropical island, while the Boeing 737 flight itself will perform low-altitude flybys to enable sightseeing of famous landmarks.

“The vaccine rollout is bringing a lot more certainty and domestic border restrictions should soon be a thing of the past,” Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully told traveller.com.au.

“In the meantime, these flights turn that mystery into a positive by creating a unique experience for the many people keen to start travelling again.

“As well as helping bring more of our people back to work, these mystery flights are another way to support tourism operators in regional areas especially, who have been hit particularly hard by several waves of travel restrictions.”

Economy fares for the flights will start from A$737 (£413), and passengers won’t know where they’re going until they touch down – although they will receive a clue when they’re advised what to pack in their hand luggage.

Australia’s international borders are currently closed and look unlikely to reopen for large-scale leisure travel until 2022.

In response, the Australian flag carrier has had to get creative in order to attract passengers.

In October, Qantas launched a “flight to nowhere” – a seven-hour scenic route around the country that didn’t stop anywhere – which sold out in just 10 minutes.

There were 134 seats up for grabs on the Boeing 787 aircraft, priced between $575 (£445) and $2,765 (£2,145) depending on the class of ticket.

The airline later launched a new scenic flight package comprised of domestic flights and an overnight stay, as well as “spectacular low-level flybys” over some of the most popular tourist spots in Australia.

The first of these “Scenic Flight Getaways” was a trip from Sydney to Uluru, which took off on 5 December.

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