A Flight to Nowhere


Courtesy of Qantas

Qantas takes passengers on scenic flights over sites in Australia such as Sydney, only to be taken back to where the flight began.

Tiana Salisbury, Photojournalist

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, many airline companies lost passengers, which ultimately led to a loss of profits. Recently, however, some flight companies have begun to offer flights that did not transport passengers to other destinations but instead took them around on a scenic route.

Travel restrictions and health precautions have prevented many people from traveling by plane throughout the last couple of months. Additionally, the global economic crisis has caused fewer people to be able to afford airline tickets. This dramatic decrease in air travel caused the flight industry to suffer. Little was known about when people would start traveling by plane again and if the experience of being on a plane would go back to the way it was before.

In early October, Qantas, an airline company based in Australia, began its first flight from Sydney that would circle around various sites in Australia. Passengers continued to follow safety measures on the plane by social distancing and wearing a mask at all times. These flights would take passengers over the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, and other tourist stops. After soaring over the different sites, the flights would then return back to Sydney where they took off. CNN Travel states that these flights not only helped Qantas gain some of their lost revenue, but they also gave passengers the experience of flying.

Soon, other airline companies adopted these “flights to nowhere” and even added themes to their flights. For example, Fortune writes that Eva Airways, which is based in Taiwan, had a Hello Kitty-themed flight that took passengers over various sites in Japan.

There is one question many people have about these flights to nowhere: why do people go on them? At first glance, these flights seem pointless. However, The New York Times states that the first flight to nowhere launched by Qantas sold out in ten minutes. Since many people have not had a reason to travel throughout the past months, these flights allowed them to experience the wonders of flying once again. Travel and Leisure also writes that flights to nowhere are similar to a quick vacation for passengers. They get to enjoy entertainment and spectacular views outside of their windows.

As flights to nowhere become more popular, the airline industry is slowly recovering from their losses. Soon, these flights will start to become common in more and more countries as people begin to realize that they miss the experience of being in the air. Madison Liao (10) adds that “it is really cool that people don’t have to spend as much money to be able to see popular landmarks and views in a unique way.” 

In the future and when the pandemic starts to get better, these flights may no longer exist. People will be free to travel wherever they want and will no longer be boarding planes on a flight to nowhere.