Needless to say, the aviation sector has been struggling since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of people have had to postpone their travel plans. For some people, they are truly missing traveling. Many travelers dream of registering their luggage, queuing at customs, spending hours flying in the sky. It's the journey - not the destination!
The urge to leave, only for a few hours, seems stronger for some people. The new idea? You just get on a plane, fly away and ... get back to where you started.
This astonishing phenomenon is starting to grow in large cities around the globe. Companies sell plane tickets without any destination!
In Australia, on September 18, the Qantas company offered 130 tickets for a seven-hour flight. You really have to want to fly to pay the price! Ticket prices ranged from 500 to 2300 euros (US$600 to 2700).
Yet the plane was full in only 10 minutes! For seven hours, passengers flew over famous places in Australia, such as Sydney Harbor and the Great Barrier Reef.
"It is possibly the best-selling flight in Qantas history," said company CEO Alan Joyce in a statement. This success prompts the company to think of other such events.
“ People clearly miss travel and the experience of flying. If the demand is there, we'll definitely look at doing more of these scenic flights while we all wait for borders to open.” said Joyce.
The idea of these flights without destinations would come from Asia, where airlines are multiplying these types of unusual offers. The Taiwanese banner Eva Air was among the first to launch this service. Last August, the company took off their A330 in the colors of the Hello Kitty characters to celebrate Father's Day.
The passengers on this flight hovered over the island for around three hours. As an added bonus, the plane's ride made a heart in the sky!
However, even though the companies that offer these amazing "trips" praise the merits, claiming that they bring well-being to their customers, it's hard not to think about the environmental impact of these trips in the air...
On social networks, several Internet users rebelled, including Karima Delli, president of the Transport Committee at the European Parliament who published this:
"Tell me the airlines, the flights to nowhere; is it to better observe the fires from the sky or to witness the death of the coral reefs live? We must stop this ecological aberration!" said Karima Delli, president of the Transport committee in the European Parliament.
Faced with harsh comments on social media, a spokeswoman for Qantas told The New York Times that she had bought carbon offsets to lessen the impact of the seven-hour flight offered by her company. Royal Brunei Airlines has said it uses an Airbus A320neo, which emits less than many other aircraft.
These arguments did not convince critics. According to the independent organization International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), in 2018, commercial flights emitted 918 million tonnes of CO2. That's 2.4% of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions.
What do you think of flights to "nowhere"? If you had the opportunity, would you reserve a seat?
Source: novethic · Photo Credit: Twitter