Qantas full-day flight to nowhere takes off to battle slump

Bloomberg | Updated on October 10, 2020 Published on October 10, 2020

The Qantas Airways Ltd. logo   -  Bloomberg

Qantas Airways Ltd. launched a sight-seeing flight across Australia in the airlines latest effort to contend with the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector.

The full-day outing from Sydney took off on Saturday morning with 150 passengers and was scheduled to pass over some of the countrys key landmarks, including Uluru, the famed red sandstone monolith in the Northern Territory, the carrier said in a statement. The airline didnt specify the duration of the flight or when it is scheduled to return to the same airport.

“The aircraft will drop to 4,000 feet at some points during the trip for a better view, compared with 35,000 feet normally. The flight on a Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner, usually reserved for long-haul international flights, will use offsets to account for its carbon emissions,” Qantas said.

Airlines and tourism operators are grappling with a dramatic plunge in passenger traffic as a result of border closures, quarantine measures and curbs on movement.

A third of the worlds passenger jets remain grounded, while the number of flights in the US is about half the total a year ago and about 60per cent lower in Europe, according to aviation data provider Cirium.

Qantas, which plans to cut as many as 8,500 jobs and is considering the future of its Sydney headquarters under a cost review, last month offered loaded bar carts from retired 747s for about A$1,474 ($1,067) each, and previously sold off stocks of pajamas.

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Published on October 10, 2020
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