Sunday, October 17, 2021

Australia’s Qantas launches ‘mystery flights’ to boost domestic tourism

From today, passengers can book flights departing from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, without knowing their destination.

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Qantas is launching a series of what the airline calls “mystery flights” to encourage domestic travel as Australia extends its international travel ban until June.

From today, passengers can book flights departing from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, without knowing their destination

Each flight is limited to 120 passengers, with the destination within approximately two hours of the origin.

Qantas has provided clues to the destinations, telling passengers boarding in Sydney they can expect “the tropics, saltwater on your skin, and long lunching on the beach”.

Passengers leaving Brisbane are primed to expect “country hospitality, gourmet food and wine, and the great outdoors”, while adventurers flying out of Melbourne can expect “the great outdoors (including a little walking), gourmet food and wine, and regional farmers markets”.

The all-inclusive packages cost just under US$600 for economy-class and double that for business-class.

“The vaccine rollout is bringing a lot more certainty,” said Qantas Group chief customer officer, Stephanie Tully. “Domestic border restrictions should soon be a thing of the past.”

She said the flights will benefit many Australian businesses.

“As well as helping bring more of our people back to work, these mystery flights are another way to support tourism operators in regional areas especially, who have been hit particularly hard by several waves of travel restrictions.”

Airlines around the world are coming up with different strategies to tackle travel slump caused by the pandemic.

Last year, Qantas was one of the first airlines to offer flights to nowhere, which take off and land at the same airport. Those tickets sold out in 10 minutes.

Qantas has said it plans to resume international flights by the end of October 2021.

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