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Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:08 pm
by 9Patch
I saw this on MarketWatch and thought is was a joke at first. The flights included Wi-Fi text messaging service on board as well as a meal service, and the option of upgrading to business class. I can't believe people would actually pay money for this. It's not cheap, $780 for coach.

All the fuss of air travel without actually going anywhere?

Airlines are hoping that the peculiar concept has some appeal for passengers desperate to satisfy their wanderlust while grappling with coronavirus limitations.

They’re called “no-destination” flights, an idea that comes as airlines entertain ways to boost cash flow amid a severe slump in passenger demand caused by the pandemic.

Singapore Airlines, for example, is considering launching a “flight to nowhere” from Changi Airport, starting in October. Basically, the passengers will board the plane, fly around for a few hours, and come back — a quirky round-trip that could also include staycations at the city’s hotels and limousine ferry rides, according to a report in the Straits Times.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/check ... 2020-09-15

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:13 pm
by Ishrion
Taiwanese airlines such as STARLUX, EVA, China Airlines, and Tigerair have already operated several.

ANA operated one with its A380 last month.

$780 seems a bit much. I think the Taiwanese airlines' flights to nowhere were around $150 USD for economy class?

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:14 pm
by ScottB
9Patch wrote:
I saw this on MarketWatch and thought is was a joke at first. The flights included Wi-Fi text messaging service on board as well as a meal service, and the option of upgrading to business class. I can't believe people would actually pay money for this. It's not cheap, $780 for coach.


Why would any government that's a signatory to the Paris Agreement even allow this?

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:22 pm
by zuckie13
ScottB wrote:
9Patch wrote:
I saw this on MarketWatch and thought is was a joke at first. The flights included Wi-Fi text messaging service on board as well as a meal service, and the option of upgrading to business class. I can't believe people would actually pay money for this. It's not cheap, $780 for coach.


Why would any government that's a signatory to the Paris Agreement even allow this?


For the same reason they allow really short regional flights that are more efficiently done by ground transportation?
Plus, right now any income an airline can make is less money they'll be begging for in a bailout.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:49 pm
by DiegoSS02
While it could be a much needed extra income, this is really unnecessary and pointless from an environmental point of view.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:59 pm
by FlyingHonu001
QF is still doing Antarctica sightseeing trips with their 789's, looks also damn fine if you ask me... :yes:
https://www.antarcticaflights.com.au/

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:09 pm
by 9Patch
FlyingHonu001 wrote:
QF is still doing Antarctica sightseeing trips with their 789's, looks also damn fine if you ask me... :yes:
https://www.antarcticaflights.com.au/

It's one thing if you actually get to see something different, but just flying over the ocean for a few hours seems like a total waste of time and fuel.

Maybe people will pay money just to sit on the ground, after all that's a BIG part of the airline experience. They could also throw in a few delays and missed connections to really make it authentic.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:26 pm
by airzona11
Doing this in business class with drink service would be fun, certainly on SQ, heck their Y class experience is great too. Who knows, maybe there is even a pricing model that would work for kids on field trips or group tours/events.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:42 pm
by johns624
DiegoSS02 wrote:
While it could be a much needed extra income, this is really unnecessary and pointless from an environmental point of view.
Who cares? Sometimes you just want to relax and have fun.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:04 pm
by cedarjet
With California, Australia, Siberia etc going up in flames, this is insanely profligate. I understand we’re not able to go carbon-free as a civilisation overnight so you’ll be driving a petrol-powered car for a while yet. I’ve done this kind of thing on vintage planes but would even question that nowadays, let alone going up for two hours on an A330 just to eat a steak and have a few glasses of bubbly, OK quite fun but when you factor in the true cost, it’s just la la land.

One good way of soaking up a bit of airline capacity is running the flight kitchens and selling the meals to supermarkets, catering companies, meals on wheels food charities etc. The airlines that have done this including Qantas and Thai have been very popular.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:18 pm
by ua900
9Patch wrote:
I saw this on MarketWatch and thought is was a joke at first. The flights included Wi-Fi text messaging service on board as well as a meal service, and the option of upgrading to business class. I can't believe people would actually pay money for this. It's not cheap, $780 for coach.


To be fair, the business class upgrade was cheap at $147 more ;-)

Disposable income = business opportunity. I bet they're glad that people take them up on the offer, and if it works for everyone then why not? As far as the "no destination" part goes, it's probably just a small step from a Lapland charter for Christmas or a scenic South Pole flight. Maybe they'll even have "real" North Pole flights in addition to the fake ones that tow kids to the hangar. Different demographic, but with kids at home too I could see someone like LH offering that this winter.

Let's bear in mind that most of the travel downturn is the result of CDC (and local equivalent) "travel recommendations" that have gotten insurers so nervous that companies fear the liability of sending employees on a trip, have resulted in mass cancellations for tour operators, and have discouraged individual travelers with quarantines and associated hurdles. If these "recommendations" were rescinded tomorrow, we'd see a nice uptick in travel again. In the meantime, anything that replaces some of the lost revenue seems fair game, including these scenic flights.

Airlines (and their vendors) probably need to look at lots of options now, see the selling of meals for example.

https://viewfromthewing.com/with-few-pa ... ls-online/

Or converting passenger planes to "freighters" of sorts.

https://www.aircargonews.net/airlines/a ... et-demand/

Gotta be creative in the face of adversity. It doesn't replace the original business line but beats that plane just sitting on the ground and more people in the industry going home for good. If these initiatives can preserve some jobs, why not?

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:25 pm
by BNEFlyer
QF is doing one in October SYD-SYD on the 787. It'll be $787 in Y; $1,787 in W and $3,787 in J. They don't mention how long it goes for, but looking at the route it will be at least 9 hours. And only 134 seats will be sold.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:38 pm
by CobaltScar
I remember on a cruise recently during a presentation, they said they were forbidden from having "cruises to nowhere". They had hit some different ports of call. These were big cruise ships mind you, I think it was something about international maritime law.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:03 am
by 9Patch
ua900 wrote:
Let's bear in mind that most of the travel downturn is the result of CDC (and local equivalent) "travel recommendations" that have gotten insurers so nervous that companies fear the liability of sending employees on a trip, have resulted in mass cancellations for tour operators, and have discouraged individual travelers with quarantines and associated hurdles. If these "recommendations" were rescinded tomorrow, we'd see a nice uptick in travel again.

But wouldn't we also see a nice uptick in covid infections and deaths?
That's what's discouraging me from traveling.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:35 am
by af773atmsp
I'd do it if the price is right, but only on a clear day and the flight just goes around my region. It'd be cool to get a bird's eye view of the Twin Cities.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:35 am
by SheikhDjibouti
CobaltScar wrote:
I remember on a cruise recently during a presentation, they said they were forbidden from having "cruises to nowhere". They had hit some different ports of call. These were big cruise ships mind you, I think it was something about international maritime law.
Not international maritime law; just US law. :roll:

Cruises to nowhere out of US ports officially came to an end in 2016 due to U.S. government regulations.
Foreign flagged ships may not operate roundtrip sailings from an American port without at least one stop in a foreign country.

Strictly speaking, this wasn't a new law, merely strict enforcement of an existing statute dating back almost 100 years. i.e. the infamous "Jones Act". I don't believe they had "cruises to nowhere" in mind when they drafted the act.

wikipedia wrote:
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is a United States federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine. Among other purposes, the law regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act is known as the Jones Act and deals with cabotage (coastwise trade) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.


Critics contend that the Act results in higher costs for moving cargo between U.S. ports, particularly for Americans living in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_ ... ct_of_1920

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:53 am
by Lootess
FlyingHonu001 wrote:
QF is still doing Antarctica sightseeing trips with their 789's, looks also damn fine if you ask me... :yes:
https://www.antarcticaflights.com.au/


I'd rather fly and actually visit the 7th continent.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:20 am
by BAINY3
SheikhDjibouti wrote:
CobaltScar wrote:
I remember on a cruise recently during a presentation, they said they were forbidden from having "cruises to nowhere". They had hit some different ports of call. These were big cruise ships mind you, I think it was something about international maritime law.
Not international maritime law; just US law. :roll:

Cruises to nowhere out of US ports officially came to an end in 2016 due to U.S. government regulations.
Foreign flagged ships may not operate roundtrip sailings from an American port without at least one stop in a foreign country.

Strictly speaking, this wasn't a new law, merely strict enforcement of an existing statute dating back almost 100 years. i.e. the infamous "Jones Act". I don't believe they had "cruises to nowhere" in mind when they drafted the act.

wikipedia wrote:
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is a United States federal statute that provides for the promotion and maintenance of the American merchant marine. Among other purposes, the law regulates maritime commerce in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports. Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act is known as the Jones Act and deals with cabotage (coastwise trade) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.


Critics contend that the Act results in higher costs for moving cargo between U.S. ports, particularly for Americans living in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_ ... ct_of_1920


This is why it's not uncommon for some west coast cruises to have almost all-U.S. itineraries, but then there's one random stop in Victoria BC. Same for Alaska cruises.

The main exception is NCL's Pride of America, which is U.S.-registered and mainly U.S.-crewed, even though this is much more expensive, because this ship specializes in cruises that never leave Hawaii. Hawaii is so isolated from anything foreign that it wouldn't be worth the extra sailing just to touch a foreign port.

Nonetheless, these "flights to nowhere" wouldn't be bound by that rule, because these airlines are already flagged in their respective countries and can treat it like any domestic route authority.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:30 am
by 880dc8707
With fares so low, you could take a kid or grandchild for a plane ride for $150-200 ( or just yourself). Depending on your local airport,
out and back same day easy, Could rent a car and do sightseeing as well.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:49 am
by OKCDCA
Could any of this have to do with keeping pilots current? I don’t know the regulations but I’m guessing there is only so much a pilot can do in a simulator before having to actually do it in an aircraft. So if you have to fly a plane to keep pilots current, might as well sell some tickets while you’re at it...

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:56 am
by b777erj145
OKCDCA wrote:
Could any of this have to do with keeping pilots current? I don’t know the regulations but I’m guessing there is only so much a pilot can do in a simulator before having to actually do it in an aircraft. So if you have to fly a plane to keep pilots current, might as well sell some tickets while you’re at it...


I was thinking the same thing. If they have to keep the plane in air for pilot certification, might just make little money from it or at least break even.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:26 am
by davidjohnson6
I can definitely understand wanting to take a flight-to-nowhere in certain circumstances - eg viewing from low-ish altitude a person's home city, Antarctica, or some other special location or maybe a natural phenomenon in the sky (eg solar eclipse)

However, flying in a big loop on an A320 or B737 at 38,000 ft over cloud / ocean for 3 hours is a concept I'm really struggling with. I don't think anybody is really expecting commercial pax flights to be grounded forever - there seems to be wide expectation that all countries will see flying resume eventually.

Without anything special to see, why do airlines think this will sell, and why would people pay for this ?

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:50 am
by c933103
ScottB wrote:
9Patch wrote:
I saw this on MarketWatch and thought is was a joke at first. The flights included Wi-Fi text messaging service on board as well as a meal service, and the option of upgrading to business class. I can't believe people would actually pay money for this. It's not cheap, $780 for coach.


Why would any government that's a signatory to the Paris Agreement even allow this?

Even before the coronavirus, Australia and New Zealand have launched sightseeing flight to see the Antarctica, Japan have flights to see Mt. Fuji and "first sunrise of the year", many other airlines have conducted solar eclipse watching flights

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:53 am
by c933103
davidjohnson6 wrote:
I can definitely understand wanting to take a flight-to-nowhere in certain circumstances - eg viewing from low-ish altitude a person's home city, Antarctica, or some other special location or maybe a natural phenomenon in the sky (eg solar eclipse)

However, flying in a big loop on an A320 or B737 at 38,000 ft over cloud / ocean for 3 hours is a concept I'm really struggling with. I don't think anybody is really expecting commercial pax flights to be grounded forever - there seems to be wide expectation that all countries will see flying resume eventually.

Without anything special to see, why do airlines think this will sell, and why would people pay for this ?

Some of these flights do have something to see. Some other these flights are trying to sell the experience, trying to make customer feel like they are on vacation

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:15 am
by oxonrow
johns624 wrote:
DiegoSS02 wrote:
While it could be a much needed extra income, this is really unnecessary and pointless from an environmental point of view.
Who cares? Sometimes you just want to relax and have fun.


This. In 2020. Head shakes.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:29 am
by MrHMSH
I’m glad to see Portsmouth finally getting some air service.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:35 am
by raylee67
Airlines need to be creative to survive. For many airlines operating these flights to nowhere (e.g. SQ, BR, etc.), their countries have effectively shut off all real air travel. Ridership on SQ is -99% from same time last year. So if they can do anything to get it up to -98% from -99%, they will do it.

CX is also now becoming a take-out restaurant. Its catering arm is accepting lunch and dinner order and making delivery to the residential suburb next to HKG.

ScottB wrote:

Why would any government that's a signatory to the Paris Agreement even allow this?


Because many governments are de-facto operating on war footing. All other priorities are rescinded. Immediate problems need to be resolved first. If the enterprises cannot survive and thousands become jobless, that's not an acceptable proposition for those governments and for those people. You don't worry about whether you will live tomorrow if there is a real chance that you die today. That's where the travel and hospitality industry is and where the people working in those industries is. Note that typically that's 10-20% of the population in any country.

Besides, those planes flying the flights to nowhere would have been flying flights to somewhere originally anyway. It's not like there is additional CO2 emission because of these flights. The net emission change by aviation is still a large reduction.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:47 am
by workhorse
If they did it with a 744, I would book in a hearbeat. I actually planned flying to Réunion from Paris and back on the next day on Corsair just to have one last ride on the Queen of the Skies but they retired them. :hissyfit:

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:22 am
by johns624
oxonrow wrote:
johns624 wrote:
DiegoSS02 wrote:
While it could be a much needed extra income, this is really unnecessary and pointless from an environmental point of view.
Who cares? Sometimes you just want to relax and have fun.


This. In 2020. Head shakes.
Read Raylee's post #27 below. This is an airline site and you want all the airlines to die. That doesn't make sense. With the severe downturn in airline traffic, a couple of "flights to nowhere" aren't going to cause that much pollution.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:37 am
by MIflyer12
ScottB wrote:
9Patch wrote:
I saw this on MarketWatch and thought is was a joke at first. The flights included Wi-Fi text messaging service on board as well as a meal service, and the option of upgrading to business class. I can't believe people would actually pay money for this. It's not cheap, $780 for coach.


Why would any government that's a signatory to the Paris Agreement even allow this?


I mean, prohibiting this would be like demanding families have permits before they travel to Disney World - maybe charging them a fee to offset their emissions from flying/driving. In the context of the number of commercial flights a day this is really nothing. It's going to take way more regulation/taxation of the industry to cut CO2 emissions meaningfully.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:49 am
by eamondzhang
cedarjet wrote:
One good way of soaking up a bit of airline capacity is running the flight kitchens and selling the meals to supermarkets, catering companies, meals on wheels food charities etc. The airlines that have done this including Qantas and Thai have been very popular.

Never heard QF doing that especially since QF has outsourced its catering unit.

I heard VA did that though.

Michael

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:53 am
by Nicoeddf
ScottB wrote:
9Patch wrote:
I saw this on MarketWatch and thought is was a joke at first. The flights included Wi-Fi text messaging service on board as well as a meal service, and the option of upgrading to business class. I can't believe people would actually pay money for this. It's not cheap, $780 for coach.


Why would any government that's a signatory to the Paris Agreement even allow this?


Why do they allow Cruise Ships? Bus cruises, custom-free cruises? They all have no destination per definition.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:56 am
by PM
johns624 wrote:
This is really unnecessary and pointless from an environmental point of view.

Who cares?


That's the spirit, Donald. Screw the environment! :roll:

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:11 pm
by offloaded
raylee67 wrote:
Airlines need to be creative to survive. For many airlines operating these flights to nowhere (e.g. SQ, BR, etc.), their countries have effectively shut off all real air travel. Ridership on SQ is -99% from same time last year. So if they can do anything to get it up to -98% from -99%, they will do it.

CX is also now becoming a take-out restaurant. Its catering arm is accepting lunch and dinner order and making delivery to the residential suburb next to HKG.

ScottB wrote:

Why would any government that's a signatory to the Paris Agreement even allow this?


Because many governments are de-facto operating on war footing. All other priorities are rescinded. Immediate problems need to be resolved first. If the enterprises cannot survive and thousands become jobless, that's not an acceptable proposition for those governments and for those people. You don't worry about whether you will live tomorrow if there is a real chance that you die today. That's where the travel and hospitality industry is and where the people working in those industries is. Note that typically that's 10-20% of the population in any country.

Besides, those planes flying the flights to nowhere would have been flying flights to somewhere originally anyway. It's not like there is additional CO2 emission because of these flights. The net emission change by aviation is still a large reduction.


Excellent post. As someone in that industry, I can assure you the situation is dire. Not all too interested in what the environazis have to say right now.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:25 pm
by mxaxai
9Patch wrote:
It's one thing if you actually get to see something different, but just flying over the ocean for a few hours seems like a total waste of time and fuel.

I don't think one should tell other people what to enjoy, and what not to enjoy. Some like watching movies or reading a book, others would rather go on a rollercoaster or ride a motorbike. It's a waste of resources for the sake of entertainment in any case. Flying on a passenger aircraft is no different, for better or worse.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:52 pm
by Miamiairport
People have done MRs for years towards status (I've done a fair number myself). I guess this isn't much different although I'm not sure I'd spring the $$ for a business class ticket just to fly around. Now if I could buy a coach seat and upgrade that would be a different story.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:45 pm
by c933103
OKCDCA wrote:
Could any of this have to do with keeping pilots current? I don’t know the regulations but I’m guessing there is only so much a pilot can do in a simulator before having to actually do it in an aircraft. So if you have to fly a plane to keep pilots current, might as well sell some tickets while you’re at it...

Brand image maintenance night also be a factor. Starlux as a really new airline, if they don't keep pushing something like this during this time they will be forgotten when traffic resume

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:57 pm
by Revelation
All this as "second wave" now pops up in my Twitter feed.

The whole idea is to avoid unnecessary gatherings.

What could possibly go wrong?

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:09 pm
by debonair
DiegoSS02 wrote:
While it could be a much needed extra income, this is really unnecessary and pointless from an environmental point of view.


Absoluetly not! Brillant. Pilots do need flight hours to keep the type rating and licence and the aircraft itself needs to be flown to stay ready... It is far more expansive for an airline to fly the aircarft out into the desert, ground them, keep them mantained and take them back at a later stage. Engineers, cabin crew, ground crew and pilots needs to be employed - so secure income, instead of (sometimes) zero salary! On top, great marketing for airlines and a rare possibility to earn money. Actually it is a win-win for all!

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:10 pm
by jellyhead
ScottB wrote:
9Patch wrote:
I saw this on MarketWatch and thought is was a joke at first. The flights included Wi-Fi text messaging service on board as well as a meal service, and the option of upgrading to business class. I can't believe people would actually pay money for this. It's not cheap, $780 for coach.


Why would any government that's a signatory to the Paris Agreement even allow this?


You better explain us why they should not! Do you have any better idea for airlines that are severely stricken by the covid-related restrictions(brought into effect by the governments) how to generate at least some money, keep at least few of their crews current, their airplanes in use and in general keep the "wheel turning" although on very low speed? You sound like one of those crazy environmentalists who are absolutely clueless about how economy works and just like grilled chickens falling on their tables from the sky while doing nothing to earn it! Please bear in mind that airlines are interacting with many affiliated businesses(catering, airport, cleaning, maintenance, radionav services etc.) whom all will appreciate every penny they can get from such sightseeing flights. Not mentioning the employees who will be happy to actually have some work to do after months of more-or-less "idling". But aside that please elaborate more why governments should be banning sightseeing flights, because thats actually what it is.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:13 pm
by RDUDDJI
DiegoSS02 wrote:
While it could be a much needed extra income, this is really unnecessary and pointless from an environmental point of view.


One could make the same argument about just about any man made technology and most human practices.

Including but not limited to:
Electricity
Wood
Metal
Plastic
Going on vacation. Surely it hurts the environment to travel, unless you're bicycling there. Oh but wait, that bicycle is made from metal and rubber...scratch that

For perspective, aviation made up about 3.5% of greenhouse gas emissions pre-covid. It's likely near a third of that now. A handful of "flights to nowhere" won't even be noticeable compared to the other ~40,000 commercial flights every day (It was over 100,000 pre-covid).

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:14 pm
by hohd
May be South Africa, Argentina and Chile airlines (even Brazil) should look into this and arrange sight seeing trips over Antartica as it would relatively closer for them. South African Airlines is struggling, may be a boost from this could help them.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:17 pm
by ScottB
MIflyer12 wrote:
I mean, prohibiting this would be like demanding families have permits before they travel to Disney World - maybe charging them a fee to offset their emissions from flying/driving.


Carbon taxation schemes are essentially a fee to offset emissions.

raylee67 wrote:
Because many governments are de-facto operating on war footing. All other priorities are rescinded. Immediate problems need to be resolved first.


I think quite a few would argue that climate change is just as urgent, if not more so. If one believes the effects of climate change will be irreversible by 2030 then Covid doesn't provide a sufficient excuse to ignore it.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:24 pm
by amstone17
I feel like the idea around this would be more interesting if they went somewhere interesting, not just giving people a taste of flying.

Like when Qantas and ANZ were doing occasional Antarctica tours (just don't repeat what happened to that DC-10)

I miss flying, but if I was going to pay a bunch of money for the experience, I'd want something to look at. On its own doesn't seem worth it if all you're doing is playing with some IFE or wifi and having an in flight meal.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:37 pm
by PlymSpotter
I can see the rational, and I understand that these aircraft would in all likelihood be flying anyway to keep crew current, so I don't feel it is additionally wasteful to the environment.

But, and here's the biggie... we're in the middle of a damn pandemic where it's prudent to be avoiding all unnecessary public gatherings. So, unless the home country is knocking its Coronavirus handling out the park, this is a really poor idea.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:47 pm
by DiegoSS02
debonair wrote:
DiegoSS02 wrote:
While it could be a much needed extra income, this is really unnecessary and pointless from an environmental point of view.


Absoluetly not! Brillant. Pilots do need flight hours to keep the type rating and licence and the aircraft itself needs to be flown to stay ready... It is far more expansive for an airline to fly the aircarft out into the desert, ground them, keep them mantained and take them back at a later stage. Engineers, cabin crew, ground crew and pilots needs to be employed - so secure income, instead of (sometimes) zero salary! On top, great marketing for airlines and a rare possibility to earn money. Actually it is a win-win for all!

You actually have a point here. I didn't think about the implications regarding pilots and crews.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:40 pm
by nws2002
af773atmsp wrote:
I'd do it if the price is right, but only on a clear day and the flight just goes around my region. It'd be cool to get a bird's eye view of the Twin Cities.


SY has that all F class 737 they use for charters. Wonder how that would work out of MSP?

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:08 pm
by RDUDDJI
PlymSpotter wrote:
But, and here's the biggie... we're in the middle of a damn pandemic where it's prudent to be avoiding all unnecessary public gatherings. So, unless the home country is knocking its Coronavirus handling out the park, this is a really poor idea.


True, but even the countries who have done well with Covid still see outbreaks from time to time. I think the example of New Zealand is interesting. No cases for over 100 days, with borders locked down. Then they had a cluster. I haven't seen anything on it recently, but it's quite possible it was circulating undetected that whole time in asymptomatic peeps before someone was symptomatic. I have some doctor friends that say this is the scariest thing about this virus (it's quiet asymptomatic spread)

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:00 pm
by UALFAson
I don't understand why you would pay to just fly around for a bit and then land where you took off from? At that point, why don't you just book a regular flight and actually go somewhere.

I'm not flying right now not because I'm scared of the flight itself, but from all the contact I would potentially have with other people standing in line at TSA, aerosol in the restrooms, crowding around the gate area, standing in line in the jet bridge, etc.

Re: Airlines launch ‘flights to nowhere’

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:32 pm
by FlyingHonu001
Just found out QF has already sold out another sightseeing trip... within 10 minutes no less.

Its serious business apparently...
https://www.qantas.com/au/en/promotions ... -land.html

https://www.secretflying.com/posts/7-ho ... 0-minutes/