The Australian airline Qantas has launched a peculiar proposal with which it hopes survive the pandemic of Covid-19 and the havoc it has left on their business operations.
This is the launch of long flights that will leave the Australian territory and reach the South Pole in Antarctica, and then return to their point of origin.
These types of flights are called «panoramic» and are aimed at passengers with purchasing power eager to escape the monotony of quarantine and travel restrictions due to the pandemic.
For this, Qantas has chosen the least explored continent on the planet as an element to capture the attention (and the pockets) of passengers eager to do something different.
The coronavirus crisis has hit air transport very hard and many airlines are struggling to survive the pandemic after suffering huge financial losses due to the closure of international and domestic flights.
To stop the spread of contagion, the European Union, the United States, Japan, Korea, China and all of Latin America suspended flights abroad and in many cases also internal ones.
Only flights with loads of food, medicine and mail, or humanitarian and repatriation flights for citizens stranded in other countries, have remained active.
The future is uncertain and for now it only remains to see how the rules for air travel after the pandemic, to see how the airlines can recover.
Qantas’ proposal to survive the pandemic
The Qantas proposal to be able to travel in the middle of the Covid It’s simple: offer a flight from an Australian city that will take a panoramic tour of Antarctica before returning to the same airport from which it took off.
Because the aircraft will not make a stopover in a second country, passengers would not even need to use their passport, nor would current international flight restrictions be violated.
Qantas calls them «scenic flights,» a fancy way to «take a ride to nowhere,» but using a plane instead of the family car or bicycle.
With this proposal aspires attract people who want to enjoy flights again by plane after months of quarantine and confinement.
And nothing better than doing it traveling to one of the most unknown regions on the planet.
But Qantas was not the first to have this idea as a way of survive the pandemic, because a few weeks ago the Taiwanese company StarLux had done it with great success.
This company offered a flight with food and entertainment service that departed from Taouyuan airport and returned after 3 hours of travel.
Traveling in the pandemic to Antarctica will not be cheap
Quantas is the largest airline in Oceania and therefore decided to go further than StarLux by proposing this scenic flight.
To carry it out, it chose one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which have a large passenger capacity and excellent flight autonomy, since it is a route of almost 10,000 kilometers or 12 hours of flight.
The route will start in one of seven Australian cities and it will reach the magnetic South Pole, where it will turn back to finally land at the same airport of origin.
For now flights will depart from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Qantas partnered in this project to survive the pandemic
with the company Antarctica Flights and plans to make 7 flights during the summer of the Southern Hemisphere.
Of course, traveling in the pandemic won’t be cheap: A ticket in economy class will cost a minimum of US $ 870, while traveling in first class can cost US $ 5,805 per person.
Traveling by plane in times of Covid: safety and social distance
During the presentation of this proposal for survive the pandemic, the CEO of Antárctica Flights, Bas Bosschieter, assured that it is not necessary to carry a passport or luggage to take one of these flights.
«If they want they can travel in shorts,» said Bosschieter, who warned that they must comply with the prevention measures required by the authorities.
Antarctica is a territory shared by several powers, but it is not even included in the travel restrictions map created by IATA.
In any case, for being able to travel in the middle of the Covid Until then, it will be required to fill out a form with data on the state of health, previous illnesses, place of residence and security questions.
Without exception, all must undergo a temperature test
Before boarding and whoever has a fever, however slight, will not be able to board the plane.
Once on board, each passenger will receive a kit containing masks (to be used at all times), disposable wipes and a disinfectant solution.
In addition, several seats in economy class will be left empty to maintain the minimum social distance between one passenger and another.
The passengers will have to rotate their positions mid-flightor to give everyone the opportunity to see the landscapes through the windows.
And in order not to break the sanitary protocol travel in the pandemic with QantasAt the time of this rotation they will receive an extra cover for the headrest and more disinfectant wipes.
Why is it worth flying over Antarctica?
Surely you wonder what is interesting to see a continent permanently covered in ice.
Well the answer is that Antarctica is the least explored region in the world, although a growing number of very wealthy tourists have been able to enjoy the natural wonders of Antarctica in recent years.
The first icy areas will begin to be seen after about 3 hours of flight, at which time the plane will reduce the height to make it easier for passengers to observe the landscape and take pictures.
The tour includes large glaciers, areas of icebergs and some of the largest mountain ranges in the world found on this continent.
Because weather conditions in Antarctica can change substantially from day to day, they have prepared up to 19 different routes for Antarctic flights, for aircraft and passenger safety.
For this reason, no flight will offer the same views as the next, an exclusivity that is also reflected in the cost of the ticket.
During the round trip, two food services and one alcoholic beverage service will be offered.
There will also be talks about the wonders of Antarctica by scientists and explorers who have worked in this area of the world.
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