Flights to nowhere to generate revenue2 min read . Updated: 16 Oct 2020, 08:54 AM IST
- Money can be generated from large aircraft such as Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 by opening a static restaurant inside them
From setting up an exclusive restaurant inside the world’s largest passenger aircraft, to taking travellers on scenic rides on flights to nowhere, airlines are coming up with wacky ideas to generate revenue amid a pandemic that has dented global passenger demand.
Singapore Airlines, the national carrier of Singapore, has launched the Discover Your Singapore Airlines suite of experiences, including an exclusive dining experience inside a stationary Airbus A380 aircraft at Changi airport. The menu has been designed by acclaimed Singaporean chef Shermay Lee.
The airline will also provide an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of its training facilities with a wide range of activities for visitors.
“With covid-19 drastically reducing the number of flights operated by the airline, we have created unique activities that would allow us to engage with our fans and customers during this time," said its chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong.
“These experiences offer something for everyone, from frequent flyers who miss our world-class in-cabin products and service, to couples and families who want an exclusive dining experience, and parents who are after an enjoyable activity-filled day with their children during the school holidays," Goh Choon Phong said.
Last month, Australia’s Qantas Airlines released tickets for a seven-hour “flight to nowhere", which sold out in just 10 minutes. The first “flight to nowhere" took off from Sydney on 10 October, and flew over Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and other landmarks before returning the same day. According to reports, the 134 seats on board sold for between $575 and $2,765 depending on the class.
India’s national carrier Air India Ltd also plans to start flights to nowhere. A senior Air India official said that the airline is exploring the possibility of starting leisure flights over major Indian landmarks and tourist spots on a Boeing 747 aircraft. “The airline’s management is, however, yet to zero in on the landmarks and tourist spots. This project could be a reality for the national carrier in the coming months," the official said, requesting anonymity.
Large aircraft such as the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747 are being retired from commercial operations by airlines across the world, much ahead of their planned exit, as passenger numbers plummet, said a senior official with a private airline, requesting anonymity. “However, one can still use these aircraft to generate some money by deploying them for special flights or by opening a static restaurant inside them. These ideas probably would not have worked during normal times but could just work out during the pandemic," the official said.