In early August, Taiwanese carrier Starlux Airlines flew its first ‘flight to nowhere’ for the purposes of sightseeing. Marketed as a “pretending to go abroad” tour, the flight took passengers over the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the northern part of the South China Sea. The airline found this venture so successful that it has recently announced some additional similar flights available for public booking.
Focus Taiwan reported that, for the first trip of its kind in early August, a total of 188 tickets were scooped up in the span of just 30 seconds. After the airline saw this level of success, Starlux spokesman Nieh Kuo-Wei reported that the airline would be planning additional air travel packages.
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Fly to the Moon
According to Taiwan News, the relatively new start-up carrier announced yesterday, Monday, September 7th, that it will be operating six “Fly to the Moon” flights. These flights will take place October 1st and 2nd and will take passengers on a journey “closest to the Moon,” as stated on the announcement on its Facebook page:
【 今年十月☄️搭乘星宇追月號 FLY TO THE MOON｜星宇航空 】 2020 飛向月球，明月共賞您願意擔當追月先鋒，探索陌生未知的星空嗎？ 星宇航空繼星宇箱STARBOX…
Passengers will also be given a limited-edition “Starbox,” which is a limited-edition box filled with biscuits. The box itself resembles an aircraft freight container. The product was so well-received that it sold out in a mere 35 minutes after 1,500 of the sets went on sale Monday, August 24th.
Tickets for these flights start at NT$5,888 (US$201). The flight to nowhere will offer passengers aerial trips that highlight the coastal scenery of Taiwan, from the cliffs of the east to the nighttime views of the west. Passengers will be treated to Michelin-starred meals while in the air.
Star Lux’s first flight to nowhere
The airline’s first flight of this nature took the flight number JX-8888 – with eights being a lucky number in East Asia.
Data from FlightRadar24.com indicates that the flight took place on August 7th using the airline’s brand new Airbus A321neo. Registered as B-58201, the aircraft is less than a year old. The new jet took off just after 11:00 local time from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and lasted three and a half hours in duration.
This flight took passengers down Taiwan’s east coast and over the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands in the northern part of the South China Sea.
The flight was extra special in that Starlux Airlines’ Chairman Chang Kuo-Wei flew it.
Other Taiwanese airlines offering similar experiences
Focus Taiwan also notes that the larger, more-established Taiwanese carriers are offering similar experiences to their loyal customers.
EVA Air, one of Taiwan’s two largest air carriers, is wooing people craving travel with a significant promotional campaign. The airline has seven tours on offer designed to coincide with various holidays, including the Mid-Autumn Festival, Double Ten Day, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year. The airline has two routes on offer:
- Daytime-East Coast Route: Welcoming the dawn, the flight will oversee the beauty of the East Coast, the East Rift Valley of the Flower, and the western tip of the Ryukyu Islands in Japan
- Night-West Coast Route: Viewing the moon from high altitude, this flight offers a night view of cities along the West Coast, as well as the western tip of the Ryukyu Islands in Japan.
“In order to provide passengers an excellent view, the airline will deploy its newly introduced Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner…which has the industry’s largest windows.” -EVA Air
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s flag carrier China Airlines is planning to launch the second version of its popular “flight attendants camp for kids.” This program sees participating children playing the roles of stewards and stewardesses and providing in-flight services, much to the amusement of their parents, the “passengers.”