Home / News / World /  Flights that take-off and land at same airport - A new buzz among flyers

Global airline sector is going through a tough period. Harsh border restrictions to keep the covid under control have led to a 97.5% plunge in international travel in Asia, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. Revenues are falling due lockdown in international travel, and hope for a quick recovery in demand looks like a distant dream.

Sisyphean flights

As people say desperate times call for unique measures, airlines have started a new Sisyphean-sort of flights, flights take off and land at the same airport. Termed as "flights to nowhere", airlines are adding to a growing trend in Asia.

For frequent flyers who miss getting on planes, companies like Australia's Qantas Airways, Taiwan's EVA Airways Corp and Japan's ANA Holdings Inc will operate special special sightseeing flights.

Special sightseeing flights.

Taiwan's EVA Airways used one of its iconic Hello Kitty livery planes for a special father's day flight last month, while Japan's ANA used an Airbus SE A380 that usually flies to Honolulu for a 90-minute flight with a Hawaiian experience on board.

Qantas Airways said on Thursday it would operate a seven-hour scenic flight over Australia next month. Singapore Airlines Ltd is also considering scenic flights, but no decision has been made, Reuters reports.

Sold in minutes

Tickets costing around $228 for a Tigerair Taiwan flight from Taipei that will circle over South Korea's Jeju Island reportedly sold out in four minutes. The price includes a one-year voucher for round-trip tickets from Taiwan to Korea, which can be used after COVID-19 travel bans are lifted.

Qantas said it would use a Boeing Co 787 typically used for long-haul international flights for the flight from Sydney that will fly at low levels over Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney Harbour before landing back in Sydney.

Not a new concept

The concept of scenic flights is not new. Antarctica Flights has chartered Qantas jets for scenic flights over Antarctica for 26 years. An Air New Zealand Ltd sightseeing flight over Antarctica in 1979 crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 people on board.

With inputs from Reuters

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