Great Britain

Qantas launches new scenic flight after sell-out ‘flight to nowhere’

Qantas has launched a new scenic flight package after its “flight to nowhere” earlier this month sold out in just 10 minutes, becoming one of the fastest selling routes in the airline’s history.

The new “flight to somewhere” campaign features 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” is a trip from Sydney to Uluru, taking off on 5 December.

The 110 passengers on board will enjoy low level flybys of Sydney Harbour on departure as well as low level circuits over Uluru and Kata Tjuta on arrival.

Once in Uluru, guests will stay at the Sails in the Desert hotel, join an Indigienous art workshop and enjoy a three-course dinner under the stars in a programme created in partnership with Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

After watching the sunrise over Uluru the following morning, passengers will go on a guided walk to the Muṯitjulu Waterhole, visit Kata Tjuta and eat a late brunch before flying back to Sydney.

Qantas says it will be offsetting the emissions for the flight through traditional fire management projects operated by Indigenous-owned enterprises in the Kimberley region in Western Australia, which are recognised by Australia’s “Climate Active” standard.

The Uluru experience goes on sale at 2pm on 29 October, and despite being just an overnight trip, it will cost $2,499 (£1,356) per person in economy and $3,999 (£2,170) per person in business class, both based on two people sharing a room in Uluru. 

The Independent found return flights from Sydney to Ayers Rock Airport from just £147 return, while stays at Sails in the Desert hotel start from £313 per night in December.

The sold-out flight to nowhere was a seven-hour scenic flight over Australia that took off and landed in Sydney. It was launched in response to the fact that Australia’s borders are largely closed for the foreseeable future, with international travel unlikely until the end of 2021.

Despite not stopping anywhere, passengers happily paid between $575 (£445) and $2,765 (£2,145) to pass over landmarks such as Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef. But it also drew criticism from campaigners over how its emissions would impact the environment.

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