Qantas will operate a series of scenic getaway flights landing at some of Australia's key holiday destinations following the success of its recent 7-hour aerial tourism flight while many border restrictions were still in place.
As more domestic borders open, the national carrier will evolve the scenic flight concept to offer an overnight getaway to some of the most iconic Australian spots while still including spectacular low-level flybys.
The first of the Scenic Flight Getaways will take 110 passengers on board a Qantas 737 from Sydney to Uluru to experience one of the country's most culturally significant sites.
Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce said there has never been a better time to be innovative in promoting our own backyard and supporting hard hit tourism operators.
'We were overwhelmed with the response to our scenic flight while most border restrictions were still in place. It sold out in 10 minutes and the feedback from people onboard was fantastic. Even the most frequent flyers said they had never experienced Australia from the air quite like that. And our crew loved being back on board.
'Now that more borders are starting to open, we're partnering with tourism operators on the ground to offer special flights to special destinations. Even though seats are limited, we think the awareness generated by these flights is a great way to get more people thinking about where they might holiday as we head towards summer.
'As well as a handful of these special scenic flight experiences, we're ready to ramp up our regular services with very competitive fares to help reunite families and friends by the end of the year.
'Across Qantas and Jetstar, we're currently operating at just under 30 per cent of our pre-COVID domestic capacity and if borders continue to be relaxed, we're hoping that will reach about 50 per cent by Christmas. That will be great news for a lot of people in the travel and tourism industry as well,' added Mr Joyce.
The first Scenic Flight Getaway will take off to Uluru on Saturday 5 December and the overnight outing will include a pre-flight lounge champagne breakfast, a flight to Uluru including low level flybys of Sydney Harbour on departure and low level circuits to offer passengers a bird's eye view of Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
Qantas will partner with Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia to provide guests with a memorable Red Centre experience staying at Ayers Rock Resort's premier hotel, Sails in the Desert.
During their stay guests will enjoy a hands-on Indigenous art workshop, a Night at Field of Light including a three-course dinner under the stars using native ingredients, with a didgeridoo performance and an Indigenous interpretation of the night sky.
The following morning, passengers will watch sunrise over Uluru and a guided walk to the Mu?itjulu Waterhole as well as a visit to neighbouring Kata Tjuta before a late morning brunch and a flight back to Sydney for a final harbour flyby before landing.
'We are proud to partner with Qantas, the spirit of Australia to welcome visitors back to Uluru, the spiritual heart of Australia,' said Voyages CEO Matt Cameron-Smith.
He added, 'This has been a tough year for tourism and it's great to be able to give Australians an opportunity to get back on a flight and travel to one of our country's most iconic destinations.'
The first Qantas Scenic Flight Getaway will go on sale at 2.00pm Thursday 29 October via Qantas.com for the Uluru trip on the weekend of Saturday 5 December
Business Class $3,999 per person (twin share accommodation)
Economy Class $2,499 per person (twin share accommodation)
The flight will operate with net zero emissions - with 100% of emissions carbon offset. The offsets will be directed to traditional fire management projects operated by Indigenous-owned enterprises in the Kimberley region in Western Australia and are all recognised under Australia's 'Climate Active' standard.
The Qantas Group is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and was the second airline group in the world to announce it would commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. As part of this commitment through the Qantas Future Planet team, Qantas is one of the largest purchasers of Indigenous Carbon Credits in Australia. This support provides employment and engagement opportunities for Indigenous Groups across regional Australia.
For more details on the sustainability activities of the Qantas Group click here.