Singapore Airlines is considering flights to nowhere for passengers to experience a different side of travel.
Anything can happen in 2020. The pandemic has changed the way we work, dine out, gather with friends and spend our leisure time on weekends. People are getting creative, dreaming of new ways to switch things up and survive until the crisis passes. The latest topic on everyone’s lips? Flights to nowhere.
Singapore Airlines (SIA) is reportingly looking into launching flights that take off and land at Changi Airport. And this can happen as soon as late October. Is it worth boarding a plane with no destination? How much do you miss travelling? Let’s take a deeper dive…
All you need to know about SIA’s flights to nowhere
According to The Straits Times, our national carrier is currently in talks to launch this initiative, in an effort to recoup some of its losses from the impact of Covid-19. Each flight will last about three hours, so you don’t have to worry about sitting in a cramped space for too long. But that also means the plane won’t be going far – don’t expect to be treated to views of Cape Town or The Alps.
No deets are out yet, but the airline has actually done this before. If you recall, it welcomed on board more than 300 Community Chest beneficiaries in 2015 for a charity flight to nowhere. Of course, the ones SIA is eyeing now will be different. They could include everything from staycations to limousine services to shopping vouchers, just so passengers get the full vacay experience.
On the bright side, SIA is also considering a partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board so passengers can pay for a portion of their flights with SingapoRediscovers vouchers. Psst: If you haven’t heard, these are the tourism credits our government will be giving out soon to encourage us to explore the best of our city!
Initiatives by other airlines
To cope with the fallout from the pandemic, Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Taiwan’s Eva Air have already piloted popular flights to nowhere, with a ‘Hawaiian resort experience’ and a Hello Kitty sightseeing tour near the Ryukyu Islands in Japan respectively.
Around the world, Thai Airways’ plane-themed restaurant is another fresh concept. It features economy and business class seats, model planes and airline catering food at its Bangkok headquarters. Oh, and Qantas Airways recently offered its first-class care packages for sale, each filled with Tim Tams, smoked almonds, T2 tea bags, business class PJs and amenities. It actually sold out in a few hours!
Would you take a no-destination flight?
It’s a novel experience, sure. One that would cap off a topsy-turvy year of unpredictability. Plus, it’s an extra entertainment option for all of us living in this tiny city-state.
Out of 308 people surveyed by Singapore Air Charter, 75% of them said they were willing to fork out money for flights to nowhere. It looks like $288 is the magic number people will pay for an economy class seat, while $588 applies to business class seats.
But do the economic benefits of these flights to nowhere outweigh the environmental impact? Think about the carbon footprint. Then, there’s the matter of being confined in a small space for a couple of hours. And everyone would probably be clamouring for the window seat to admire the scenery. On a typical vacay, you’re excited to get on the plane ’cause you’re going places. But 2020 isn’t an ordinary year, is it. What if the airline crafted unique experiences on board with themed flights, one-of-a-kind performances or celeb chef dinners… would you be down for that?
Let’s not forget our new normal, either. Any kind of travel now would include sanitisers, masks, temperature screenings, safe distancing measures and more.
So… who’s keen to take flight?