Singapore Airlines (SIA) is planning to launch no-destination flights with departure and arrival in Changi Airport next month, in an attempt to give a boost to its ailing business, according to a report by The Straits Times.
The airline is looking forward to launching the ‘flights to nowhere’ concept by the end of October for domestic passengers. The duration of each flight is expected to be three hours. Singapore Tourism Board and SIA are planning a partnership that will allow interested travellers to pay for these flights partially with tourism credits which will be handed out by the government. These no-destination flights might be bundled with shopping vouchers at Jewel Changi Airport, staycations at Singapore’s hotels and a limousine service for ferrying customers around.
Since Singapore Airlines do not operate domestic flights, it has been hit harder than other airline services in the wake of COVID-19. The pandemic has hit the aviation industry all over the world with the International Air Transport Association estimating the recovery of passenger traffic to pre-COVID levels until at least 2024.
The decision to charter these flights have come after a survey conducted by Singapore Air Charter showed that out of the 308 participants, 75% are willing to buy tickets for these no-destination flights. 60% of the participants would prefer the duration of the flight to be two hours.
The SIA Group also consists of the regional arm SilkAir and budget carrier Scoot and is currently flying only 7 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity. Around 4,300 employees of the group are expected to lose their jobs, in a decision announced by the group.
The SIA Group had previously operated a flight to nowhere in 2015 as a charity initiative for disadvantaged elderly and children with special needs. After the pandemic broke out, some airlines have operated the flights to nowhere including All Nippon Airways of Japan which flew sightseeing flights for 90 minutes that took off and landed in Narita Airport in Tokyo. Two Taiwanese carriers also launched similar initiatives – EVA Airways Corp and Starlux Airlines.