Qantas has taken 150 Aussies on a once-in-a-lifetime aerial tourism flight over some of the country’s most iconic destinations.
The full-day outing on board a Qantas 787 Dreamliner, which is usually reserved for long-haul international flights, featured a number of low-level flybys of key locations along the New South Wales and Queensland coasts, as well as Uluru in the Northern Territory.
The flight path was designed by Qantas flight crew to showcase the unique Australian landscape from a different perspective, and without having to worry about continued border closures.
Those keen on following the Great Southern Land scenic flight from the ground were able to in real time via flightradar24.com.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) October 10, 2020
Captain Alex Passerini said that while they often pass over these landmarks as part of normal flying, it was at 35,000 feet rather than the circa 4,000 feet that the scenic flight dropped to at key points.
Visit Sunshine Coast cleverly used the opportunity to invite passengers to start planning their next Sunshine Coast visit with a giant message in the sand at Coolum Beach.
The flight also featured two ground-to-air satellite phone calls over the aircraft PA for passengers to hear first-hand facts from local experts as they flew over the Whitsundays and Uluru.
Qantas claims the scenic flight was inspired by its frequent flyers who were missing stepping on board a flight with the Flying Kangaroo and wanted an opportunity to enjoy some of the airline’s Spirit of Australia hospitality, even if they couldn’t travel as they normally do.
The flight, which sold out in just 10 minutes last month, operated with net-zero emissions, according to Qantas – meaning carbon emissions from the flight were 100 per cent offset.
However, that didn’t stop some people from questioning the environmental impact of Qantas’ ‘flight to nowhere’ on social media.
7 hour QANTAS flight to nowhere.
— E.V. Nabokov (@katevonlaegel) October 10, 2020
— ccliffy (@ccliffy) October 10, 2020
Flights to Nowhere are Flights to a Hotter Planet. Flying’s the most warming single thing you can do. Passengers on this flight-to-nowhere will increase their annual emissions by 10% in just 7 hours! — helping kill the Great Barrier Reef they gawk at from their windows.
— Mark Carter (@mcarter_nofly) October 10, 2020