Good news for people who want to travel but have nowhere to go. National carrier Air India is planning to start its own “flights to nowhere” for flyers who have been missing the experience of flying. Under the programme, Air India will take the travellers for a picturesque journey in the sky that will take-off and drop the flyers at the same airport.
These ‘scenic joy flights’ will be low-flying expeditions that give passengers an aerial tour of famous spots in India, an Air India official told the Hindustan Times. “Yes, we are exploring the possibility of starting a scenic flight service. Other details are to be decided,” an Air India spokesperson said.
“Of late, many flyers have taken to social media to narrate how they feel about not being able to go on vacations or fly out of their cities because of coronavirus outbreak.
The ‘joy flights’ will get experience of flying back, and will also be something never experienced before. It is expected to be welcomed by the Indian flyers also,” another official told HT.
The wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 747 will be used for the service. Aviation expert Mark Martin said a Boeing 747 can fly as low as 500 to 1,000 feet for display flights. Cruising speed of a normal Boeing 747 during a low-altitude flight would be around 250 knots i.e. roughly 400 km per hour.
However, this is not the first time that an Airline will be doing this. Australian air carrier, Qantas Airways recently launched its ‘Flight to Nowhere’ and the tickets sold out in 10 minutes. The seven-hour-long flight during which the passenger will be able to spot attractions such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Sydney Harbour. Royal Brunei also operates similar flights for passengers.
Not only Australia, but Singapore too is planning the same.
India is still going through a surge in COVID-19 cases (many are asymptomatic). So medical professionals are citing the risks of getting on board these flights which will have many people on board. They are recommending essential travel right now, not joy rides.