Singapore Airlines is looking to launch no-destination flights that will depart from and land in Changi Airport next month, in a bid to give its ailing business a lift.
Sources told The Straits Times that the national carrier is working towards launching this option for domestic passengers – dubbed “flights to nowhere” – by end-October.
They said SIA also plans to explore a partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board to allow interested passengers to partially pay for such flights with tourism credits that will be given out by the Government.
Each flight is expected to take about three hours.
Mr Stefan Wood, director at aircraft charter firm Singapore Air Charter, told ST that he had approached SIA about the possibility of setting up a joint venture to provide such flights to nowhere using the Airbus A-350 planes from SIA.
But he said the talks stalled recently, with SIA indicating interest in going ahead with such plans on its own.
When asked by ST about the plans to launch flights to nowhere, a spokesman said: “SIA is considering several initiatives that would allow us to continue engaging both our customers and members of the public. We will make an announcement at the appropriate time if we go ahead with these plans.”
Several airlines worldwide, including EVA Air in Taiwan, have piloted flights to nowhere in an attempt to cope with the drastic fall in demand for air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Like other airlines, SIA has been badly battered by the fallout from Covid-19. The SIA Group, which also includes regional arm SilkAir and budget carrier Scoot, announced on Thursday (Sept 10) that it will cut around 4,300 positions, with an estimated 2,400 employees expected to be affected after taking into account previous measures like a recruitment freeze.
This would have included partnerships with hotels to offer staycations, shopping vouchers at Jewel Changi Airport and a limousine service to ferry customers around.