October 10th marks Fiji’s 50th Independence Day. As one of Fiji Airways’ new A350s is due for its “ready for flight” spin, the carrier has decided to take the opportunity to commemorate the occasion with a special scenic tour. All proceeds will go to the Fiji Cancer Society.
The latest in the line of commercial airlines to hop on the flight-to-nowhere trend is Fiji Airways. The South Pacific carrier announced today that it will be operating a 90-minute flight from Nadi Aiport to commemorate Fiji’s 50th Independence Day on October 10th.
Fiji Airways is making use of the occasion to fulfill its fleet’s ready-for-flight storage requirements. The special scenic flyover will be operated by one of the airline’s brand new A350s.
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A charitable cause
While the flight itself may return to the same destination from where it took off, proceeds will go to the Fiji Cancer Society (FCS). Rather than taking the chance to generate some extra revenue, the airline is making the 60 seats on board the flight available in exchange for donations.
Funds collected will be used in the fight against breast cancer, cases of which have been escalating in Fiji over the past decade. Several special activities will also be held pre-flight and onboard to raise awareness of the disease and how it affects Fijians.
Seat allocations for the flight are as follows:
- 10 business class window seats for a donation of FJ$ 500 (US$233) each.
- 20 business class middle seats for a donation of FJ$ 400 (US$188) each.
- 30 Bula Space economy class seats for a donation of FJ$ 300 (US$141) each.
Special live feed and low-altitude flyover
The flight will take the donating guests on a tour around Fiji and some of its major towns and islands. A camera mounted on the underside of the fuselage will feed live views to all of the plane’s IFE screens.
A very rare low flyover around Albert Park in the capital of Suva is planned; however, this will be subject to weather conditions on the day. As a bit of extra trivia, Albert Park was the site were Australian aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith landed on a stopover during the first transpacific flight from the US to Australia in 1928.
DQ-FAJ ready for flight
The aircraft operating the special scenic tour is one of Fiji Airways’ two brand new Airbus A350s, DQ-FAJ. The carrier only took delivery of the plane as late as December last year. Due to the unforeseen events of colossal magnitude, it is yet to see much airtime. It is currently stored in the airline’s short-term “ready for flight” storage program.
Short-term storage requires periodic planned flights to ensure that the aircraft is ready to return to commercial service on short notice. As the jet in question was scheduled for its ready-for-action check early this month, Fiji Airways decided to use it for a good cause, rather than go for a bit of extra revenue, which we find highly commendable.
Would you like to be on this flight? Would you be more inclined to take a flight to nowhere that was donation-based and raising money for charity? Let us know in the comments.