As airlines struggle to come to terms with falling revenue and a dramatic fall in passengers, many have turned to launching pleasure flights as a way to adapt to the Covid-19 climate. These ‘flights to nowhere‘, as they have become known, allow travellers to enjoy all the experiences of a standard flight – just without an end destination.
Qantas and Eva Air were some of the first to launch these routes, and so far they have been extremely successful – indeed, tickets for Qantas’s seven-hour scenic route from Sydney recently sold out in under 10 minutes. But despite their popularity, these ‘no-destination’ services have understandably drawn harsh criticism from environmentalists, who argue that such pleasure services offer ‘carbon-intensive travel for no good reason’.
As a result, Singapore Airlines yesterday announced that they would be scrapping their plans for a flight to nowhere, which was originally mooted to take passengers on a three-hour circuit from their base in Changi Airport. Instead, they have launched a three-pronged ‘Discover Your Singapore Airlines’ initiative that sees their aircraft remain firmly grounded.
The highlight of the new programme is Restaurant A380@Changi, in which travellers can enjoy a unique dining experience on board the world’s largest passenger aircraft. The double-decker superjumbo will open its doors on 24 and 25 October, offering a bespoke international menu designed by by acclaimed Singaporean chef, Shermay Lee.
Diners will be able to pair their meal with two complimentary alcoholic drinks and unlimited soft beverages, and can take home a goodie bag featuring items from KrisShop. Add-ons include a pre-dining restaurant tour and ‘in-flight’ entertainment packages. Prices are yet to be announced, but the experience goes on sale on 12 October.
For those wanting to learn more about the airline, ‘Inside Singapore Airlines’ will offer an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the SIA training centre. For two weekends in November, visitors will be able to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime look at how training is conducted for pilots and cabin crew and journey through 70 years of history at their heritage museum.
Additional activities on offer include a flight simulator experience, a grooming workshop to discover what it takes to become ‘the perfect Singapore Girl chignon’ and a wine appreciation class that showcases the criteria used to judge if a wine is worthy to be included on the SIA wine list.
For children, the junior cabin crew experience allows kids to dress up in and take home their very own Singapore Airlines sarong kebaya uniform, learn customer service skills, and role-play in a mock-up of an A380 Business Class cabin.
Tickets for the backstage experience go on offer on 1 November, with the experience taking place on 21–22 and 28–29 November. Prices for the packages are yet to be announced.
The final rung of the programme allows customers to enjoy a good old-fashioned in-flight meal from the comfort of their own home. From 5 October, SIA@Home will offer a home-dining experience for two like no other, created by the airline’s world-renowned International Culinary Panel chefs. There are ten menus from which to choose, and each can be paired with a choice of wine or champagne.
For those used to travelling in style, the First Class and Business experiences include additional luxurious extras such as a bottle of Dom Perignon, a sleeper suit and service on a 22-piece Wedgewood tableware set accompanied by Lalique crystal. There’s also the option to book one of Singapore Airlines’ private chefs to serve the meal within your own home.
Find out more details on the Singapore Airlines website.