Qantas’ Great Southern Land scenic flight took place on Saturday 10 October giving 150 Australians on a once-in-a-lifetime aerial tourism flight over some of Australia’s most iconic destinations.
The full-day outing was onboard a Qantas 787 Dreamliner usually reserved for long haul international flights. The trip featured a number of low-level flybys of key locations along the New South Wales and Queensland coasts as well as Uluru in the Northern Territory.
The flight path has been designed by Qantas flight crew to showcase the unique Australian landscape from a different perspective, and without having to worry about continued border closures.
Captain Alex Passerini said that while they often pass over these landmarks as part of normal flying, it’s at 35,000 feet rather than the circa 4,000 feet that the scenic flight will drop to at key points.
“We will angle the aircraft so that passengers on both sides get a great view, in particular of Uluru after we were granted special permission for the flyover. It’s going to be a really special day and we are excited to be back in the air again.”
The flight featured two ground-to-air satellite phone calls over the aircraft PA for passengers to hear first-hand facts from local experts as they fly over the Whitsundays and Uluru.
The Great Southern Land scenic flight was inspired by Frequent Flyers who said they missed stepping onboard a Qantas flight and wanted an opportunity to enjoy some of the airline’s Spirit of Australia hospitality even if they couldn’t travel as they normally do.
Frequent Flyer David Thompson said like many people he had numerous international and domestic travel plans thwarted in 2020 so getting on a plane and taking a sightseeing trip was the next best thing until he could visit the destinations in person.
“I’m absolutely pumped to be stepping on board a plane again and one good thing to come out of the COVID-19 travel restrictions is the opportunity to appreciate what we actually have right here in our own country. I will be seeing them from the sky today but can’t wait to go back and land next time.”
Obviously, this is not the most environmentally friendly flight path but Qantas made sure they offset the emissions for the flight.
Personally, I would love to do a similar trip to somewhere like Scandinavia with the fjords and then Iceland perhaps. Providing there was a business class section of course!
Would you get on a flight from the UK to do something similar over Europe or beyond? If so where would you want to fly over? Let us know in the comments below.