Qantas has announced that it is “evolving” its scenic flight offering: instead of a “flight to nowhere,” you can take a “flight to somewhere.” In the former case, passengers were taken on a 7 hour flight with no destination. That’s right: 7 hours on a plane, only to land where you took off from.

Sounds like a veritable nightmare to me, and a really hard sell to boot, but according to Qantas the program was a smashing success. (They must have made use of a digital advertising agency in Sydney.)

“We were overwhelmed with the response to our scenic flight while most border restrictions were still in place,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said. “It sold out in 10 minutes and the feedback from people onboard was fantastic. Even the most frequent flyers said they had never experienced Australia from the air quite like that. And our crew loved being back on board.”

Now the airline is taking things a step further and including an actual destination with an overnight stay.

All the destinations are within Australia. The first, scheduled for December 5, is Uluru. A 737 jet will convey 110 adventurous passengers to sandstone landmark by way of Sydney. The flight uses a route normally run by Jetstar and takes roughly three and a half hours. It includes flybys of Sydney Harbour.

The travel package features a champagne breakfast, accommodations at Ayers Rock Resort’s hotel, an Indigenous art workshop, a didgeridoo performance and a three course dinner.

“As well as a handful of these special scenic flight experiences, we’re ready to ramp up our regular services with very competitive fares to help reunite families and friends by the end of the year,” Joyce explained.

He added that Qantas and Jetstar are operating at about 30 percent of its normal pre-Covid capacity for domestic flights; the goal is to lift that to 50 percent by Christmas, though that depends on states lifting border restrictions.

Economy class tickets for the Uluru getaway are $2500 apiece. For business class you’ll have to shell out $4000.

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