Singapore Airlines is considering special ‘flights to nowhere’ according to sources who claim to be familiar with the matter that would give domestic passengers the chance to experience the joy of flight amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar initiatives have already been launched by several other airlines in a bid to rake in desperately needed revenue while giving fare-paying passengers the chance to at least pretend to go on holiday.
No final decision has yet been made on the special flights but if it does go ahead, the airline is said to be exploring a late October launch. Available only to domestic passengers, the flights would depart from Singapore Changi airport for an approximately three-hour flight before landing right back where it started.
SIA’s business has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and senior executives fear recovery might take three to four years to materialise. In the first quarter of the year, passenger traffic across the SIA group plummeted by 99.5 per cent and has only since recovered to 8 per cent of pre-COVID levels. By the end of March 2021, the airline expects to be operating at just 50 per cent of planned capacity.
The airline hasn’t yet fully embraced the idea of flights to nowhere, however, saying in a statement: “SIA is considering several initiatives that would allow us to continue engaging both our customers and members of the public.”
“We will make an announcement at the appropriate time if we go ahead with these plans,” the statement, first reported by the Straits Times, explained.
Other airlines haven’t been quite so reserved