Qantas will bring back its popular 1990s trend of mystery flights in a bid to assist local tourism industries that have been financially crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.
The country’s major carrier will offer customers mystery flights from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to undisclosed interstate locations for day trips co-ordinated by the airline and local tour operators.
Qantas’s mystery destinations are a nostalgic trend brought back from last century, where customers used to be able to rock up to the airport and hop on a last minute flight to any location where seats were still available.
“Our customers tell us that where they can and can’t travel within Australia has been a bit of a mystery lately,” Qantas chief customer officer, Stephanie Tully said.
“These flights turn that mystery into a positive by creating a unique experience for the many people keen to start travelling again.”
Flights will be on one of three Qantas Boeing 737 planes located at the major airports, with economy fares beginning at $737.
The all-day package includes meals and in-flight beverages, plus activities on the ground which range from wine making, gourmet lunches and snorkelling on tropical islands.
Each major city has a different interstate destination with a flying time of roughly two hours. Tickets sales will begin on Thursday midday.
Qantas noted the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines had boosted certainty around state borders remaining open, allowing the major carrier to organise destinations outside of each respective state.
Ms Tully said the flights are intended to assist tourism operators in regional areas which have been financially scarred from the pandemic.
“The vaccine rollout is bringing a lot more certainty and domestic border restrictions should soon be a thing of the past,” Mr Tully said.
“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.”
The mystery flights are off the back of recent promotions run by Qantas that included its Flight to Somewhere and Flight to Nowhere specials, which were scenic getaway flights with low-level fly-bys of iconic Australian landmarks.
Qantas said the customers will be given clues before the trip to ensure they are clothed and prepared for the appropriate outing.
On-board experiences will also include scenic fly-bys of landmarks en route to the destination.