Qantas, the most popular airline in Australia, announced that its seven-hour round trip to nowhere, which starts and lands at the same airport, sold out in just 10 minutes.
“It’s probably the fastest-selling flight in Qantas history,” claimed a spokesperson, per The Independent.
One hundred and thirty-four Australians bought tickets for the trip, showing a growing desire for even the semblance of travel and escape during current coronavirus-mandated restrictions. Costs of tickets range from $575 for economy class and $2,765 for business.
The trip, scheduled for October 10, will take place on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a craft normally reserved for intercontinental journeys. The large size of the jet will allow the trip to cover large swathes of land, from the island nation’s Gold Coast to the outback. Passengers have been promised the ability to see famous landmarks from their windows, including Sydney Harbor and Uluru.
It is not just the landmarks that have convinced eager travelers to purchase tickets. The airline has also promised on board entertainment, hinting at a celebrity serving as a host for the sight-seeing trip.
“People clearly miss travel and the experience of flying. If the demand is there, we’ll definitely look at doing more of these scenic flights while we all wait for borders to open,” a spokesperson added.
The airline is also offering flights that go down south towards Antarctica.
“While over Antarctica, most passengers get up from their seats and move about the aircraft, allowing everyone on board to enjoy excellent viewing opportunities,” a company spokesperson said.
“The aircraft flies in long sweeping ‘figure-eights’ over various points of interest to allow these spectacular sights to be viewed from both sides of the aircraft.”
Another potential reason for the popularity is that Australia’s borders are currently closed to all inbound and outbound travel, barring limited exceptions.
Qantas is not the only company to provide such a trip. This past August, as reported by CNN, EVA Air and All Nipon Airways offered similar experiences, with the former using a Hello Kitty-themed jet. Several other Asian airlines are reportedly planning to follow suit.
The reports signal good news for an industry that has struggled amid the pandemic. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, flights in the United States dropped by as much as 96 percent this past spring, necessitating an influx of cash from the government to sustain the industry.
However, others have lambasted the move as ecologically wasteful. Aircrafts are known to be some of the largest greenhouse gas producers on the planet.
“It’s a real indication of our addiction to flying,” lamented Anna Hughes, director of Flight Free UK.