Environmental activists have condemned the rise in scenic “joy trips” aimed at passengers “losing the excitement of travel.”
Round-trip tickets for a seven-hour flight from Sydney with Qantas sold out within 10 minutes, making it one of the fastest-selling flights of all time. Seat prices for the October 10 flight range from $ 787 (£ 607) to $ 3,787 in business class.
Using 787 Dreamliners commonly used for international long-haul flights, Qantas’ Great Southernland flight will fly up to 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) over Queensland, Northern Territory and New South Wales, giving travelers the chance to see Australia’s most famous. Landmarks, including Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and Sydney Harbor.
Announcing the flight promises that it will “renew the joy of flying,” adding, “From the skies, there are no restrictions at borders.”
Qantas is not the first airline to offer leisure flights in an effort to offset the financial losses of the Coronavirus pandemic. Last month, Taiwanese airline EVA launched a Hello Kitty-shaped flight that took off from Taipei airport and returned there three hours later. Japan Airlines ANA plans to operate two 90-minute “Hawaiian Experience” flights in October after a sightseeing flight in August that largely oversubscribed. Singapore Airlines is reportedly planning to launch flights without a destination by the end of October.
Climate activists have been quick to denounce the trend and reject Qantas’ promise that her flight will be carbon-free. “We have to understand the fact that flying cannot be emissions-free anytime soon,” said Mark Carter, of the Flight Free Australia campaign group. He said passengers on the Qantas flight would increase their annual emissions by 10% in just seven hours “as they stare at the reef they are helping to destroy.”
“Our home is burning. At a time when all industries urgently need to drastically reduce their emissions, Qantas’s claim of“ sustainability ”offsetting its flight emissions is a scam that allows its emissions to continue on the back of buying cuts from others. It’s like agreeing to pour a bucket of Gasoline for the burning house for every bucket of water you throw. “
“I understand why they’re doing this – but it’s really crazy – a trip to anywhere is just emissions for its sake. If this is the community that we’ve built, where we’re addicted to flying, then we’ve got a serious problem,” said Anna Hughes, sister campaign manager, Flight Free UK. “.