Just like Qantas and Taiwanese airline Starlux, European budget carier Smartwings has been flying its own scenic flights to nowhere. Using a Boeing 737-800, the airline flew from Budapest to… well, Budapest, three times on October 25th, offering grounded wannabe-travelers a 47-minute flight experience over the Hungarian landscape.
Information about the three flights comes from Airportal.hu, which noted that the scenic Budapest to Budapest flights all took place on October 25th, lasting just under an hour.
The aircraft running these three consecutive services was a 737-800 registered as HA-LKG. While the airline is technically Czech, this aircraft was flown entirely with a Hungarian crew, including the Hungarian subsidiary’s main pilot, Gábor Szakács.
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According to FlightRadar24.com, the details of the three flights are as follows:
- 7O5904: Departed at 10:17, returned at 11:03
- 7O5900: Departed at 12:09, returned at 12:54
- 7O5902: Departed at 14:07, returned at 14:59
All times listed are local.
The inflight experience
The source notes that on October 25th, the weather was, unfortunately, less-than-ideal for a scenic flight. However, passengers were occasionally able to get a unique and rare view of the Hungarian landscape. The aircraft was flying much lower than typical cruising altitude, at just 18,000 feet (5,600 meters).
According to the original plans, this scenic flight-to-nowhere would fly out of Budapest and take passengers over the areas of Danube Bend, Lake Balaton, and the Bakony. During the flight, the flight crew shared interesting information about the route as well as the aircraft – something you would very much experience on a tour bus!
Finally, after landing, passengers participated in a one-and-a-half-hour airport visit with LKK tour guides and refurbished Malév buses, adding further value to the overall experience.
Joining other airlines with scenic flights
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen scenic flights-to-nowhere offered. One of the first occurrences was with Taiwanese carrier Starlux and its new A321neo jet. Taking place in August, the experience was so popular that the relatively new carrier arranged subsequent tour experiences.
Qantas took this experience to the next level with a ‘long-haul’ 787 flight around Australia. On October 10th, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with only 150 passengers onboard operated an aerial tourism flight over Australia. The full-day adventure originated from and arrived back in Sydney.
Qantas announced the seven-hour scenic flight back in September with plans to fly over Uluru, Great Barrier Reef, the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Sydney Harbor, and more. The flight sales were a success, with the “flight to nowhere” selling out in about ten minutes.
Would you be interested in a scenic flight like this with SmartWings? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Simple Flying contacted SmartWings requesting a statement on these flights. However, at the time of publication, no response was received.