With aviation largely halted around the world and many national borders closed, airlines have had to get creative during downtime.
The Field of Light pictured at Uluru.
On Qantas’ “flight to nowhere,” a seven-hour sightseeing tour around the country, fliers were able to get incredible views of destinations — including Uluru and Sydney Harbour — as the plane flew lower than usual. Despite some concerns about carbon emissions, the idea caught on with travelers and tickets sold out in half an hour.
The low-flying planes will be part of the “flight to somewhere,” too, with fly-bys at the beginning and end of the journey giving passengers aerial views of these famous Australian landmarks.
The flight from Sydney to Uluru, which lasts about three and a half hours, is on a route normally operated by Qantas-owned low-cost airline Jetstar. It has been on pause since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Uluru, formerly known by its colonial name of Ayers Rock, is sacred to Australia’s Indigenous people. It holds special significance for the Anangu people, who have a long historical connection to the site.
Economy-rate packages for the “flight to somewhere” experience are $2,449 AUS ($1,730 USD), and a Business Class package is $3,999 ($2,286). Travelers will earn Qantas points from the experience but cannot use points to book them.
CNN’s Hilary Whiteman contributed reporting.