A plane full of passengers has landed back where it took off after a round-trip “flight to nowhere” of more than 1,300 miles.
The jet flew about 650 miles north (1046 km) from Taiwan for a spot of aerial sightseeing around the South Korean holiday island of Jeju – before heading straight back.
It was designed to give people their hit of plane travel at a time when many are unwilling or unable to go on foreign holidays due to the coronavirus.
Image: Travellers posed for a photo ahead of their round trip to South Korea
Image: Some passengers dressed in traditional Korean outfits
Saturday’s flight by Tigerair Taiwan carried about 120 people, some wearing traditional Korean dress, and the plane circled low to give them a good view of the island.
Passengers had their temperature checked for COVID-19 symptoms at Taipei’s Taoyuan airport before boarding.
“I feel like I haven’t gone abroad for a long time, and I think this event is very special. It’s a good deal,” said passenger Chen Shu-tzu, 43.
Image: A staff member gave passengers some information about Korean and Jeju languages
Image: Eagle-eyed passengers may have spotted Jeju’s Sunrise Peak. File pic
Air travel in the region has fallen 97.5% during the pandemic, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
The sightseeing flights also allow some pilots to keep their licences current.
Other airlines, such as Qantas and Japan’s All Nipon Aiways, have also seen the opportunity to sell “flights to nowhere” to keen travellers.
Image: Qantas customers will soon be heading for a sightseeing flight that includes the Great Barrier Reef
The Australian airline said this week that a seven-hour flight to the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef had sold out in 10 minutes.
Next month’s flight on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner – which has larger windows than many planes – will depart from Sydney and sold tickets from economy right up to thousands of dollars for business class.
Source : Sky News