The Jakarta Post
Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is set to accommodate no-destination flights as many airlines seek to recoup some of the major losses suffered as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Soekarno-Hatta executive general manager Agus Haryadi said the airport would be ready to facilitate airlines that planned to offer “flights to nowhere”.
“We will certainly support [the initiative]. At the very least, this program can inspire the public to fly again,” Agus said on Monday as quoted by kompas.com.
However, as of the time of writing, no airlines operating from the airport were offering no-destination flights, he added.
A no-destination flight – the type of flight that departs from and arrives at the point of origin – is not a novel concept in the aviation industry, according to him. The program is typically reserved for non-commercial purposes, such as test flights for new types of aircraft, he said.
Agus added that the notion of flying for the sake of it was expected to appeal to those who missed the flying experience following months of stringent travel restrictions.
“I think flying with no specific destination during the pandemic is a good idea to warm up the plane engine,” he said.
The aviation industry has taken major financial blows as governments around the globe have imposed travel restrictions and bans to control the spread of COVID-19.
In a bid to devise an alternative revenue stream amid the coronavirus-induced economic downturn, a number of airlines in the Asia-Pacific region plan to start flights to nowhere.
Singapore Airlines, for instance, is due to offer no-destination flights starting in late October, as reported by The Straits Times. The flights will depart from and land at Changi Airport.
A no-destination flight recently offered by Australia’s Qantas Airways sold out within 10 minutes, according to the airline, reflecting a public urge to fly to temporarily escape the pressure of the health crisis. (rfa)