Qantas drops insane new $2500 flight
Following the success of the Qantas's 'flight to nowhere', the Aussie airline is now rolling out a new journey … this time, to somewhere.
As part of recovery efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic's impact on the tourism and aviation industries, Qantas has announced a one-off new route to Uluru (which is typically serviced by Jetstar) - but it will cost you a little more than a seat on the budget counterpart.
Dubbed the 'flight to somewhere', the journey is set to take off on Saturday, December 5 - but this time, instead of simply doing a seven-hour loop around parts of the country, this flight will land and allow passengers to spend the night at the natural wonder.
The first of the Scenic Flight Getaways will take 110 passengers on board a Qantas 737 from Sydney to Uluru to experience all that the Red Centre has to offer, with the overnight outing starting off with a pre-flight lounge champagne breakfast, a flight to Uluru including low-level fly-bys of Sydney Harbour on departure and low-level circuits to offer passengers a bird's eye view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
The experience continues on the ground in partnership with Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, with passengers disembarking the aircraft and staying at luxury hotel Sails in the Desert.
During their stay, guests will enjoy a hands-on Indigenous art workshop, a Night at Field of Light including a three-course dinner under the stars using native ingredients, with a didgeridoo performance and an Indigenous interpretation of the night sky.
The following morning, passengers will watch sunrise over Uluru and a guided walk to the Mutitjulu Waterhole as well as a visit to neighbouring Kata Tjuta before a late morning brunch and a flight back to Sydney for a final harbour fly-by before landing.
The entire experience will set passengers back $2499 for an economy seat, or $3999 for a seat at the pointy end of the plane.
As state and territory borders slowly begin to reopen ahead of Christmas, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said flights around the country - scenic or otherwise - are crucial to aid tourism recovery efforts, and to expect more scenic flights in the future.
"We were overwhelmed with the response to our scenic flight while most border restrictions were still in place. It sold out in 10 minutes and the feedback from people on-board 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," Mr Joyce said.
"Now that more borders are starting to open, we're partnering with tourism operators on the ground to offer special flights to special destinations. Even though seats are limited, we think the awareness generated by these flights is a great way to get more people thinking about where they might holiday as we head towards summer.
"Across Qantas and Jetstar, we're currently operating at just under 30 per cent of our pre-COVID domestic capacity and if borders continue to be relaxed, we're hoping that will reach about 50 per cent by Christmas. That will be great news for a lot of people in the travel and tourism industry as well," added Mr Joyce.
Seats will go on sale at 2pm on Thursday, October 29, with just 110 seats available.
The announcement comes as the airline announced this week they will launch a Sydney-Launceston route, flying three times a week from December 4 and increasing to four flights the following week until February 4, 2021.
With Tasmania opening its borders this week, and with NSW on November 6, it's the first time Qantas has flown to Launceston in 16 years with the airline flagging the route may continue beyond this eight-week period if there is sufficient demand.