Airlines are looking for new money making techniques as they burn through cash while fleets are largely grounded and people stay at home due to the worst ever global crisis. A recovery is expected to take years and cost carriers billions of dollars more. Here’s a look at what airlines are peddling as they try to make up for the hit from Covid-19.
- FLIGHTS TO NOWHERE: Japan’s ANA Holdings Inc. sold tickets for a charter flight to nowhere. About 300 passengers paid for a so-called Hawaiian resort experience on an Airbus SE A380 that typically flies the Tokyo-Honolulu route. The passengers were picked through a lottery. Crew wore masks and Hawaiian shirts and served cocktails during the 90-minute trip.
- PRETEND TO GO ABROAD: Starlux Airlines introduced a “pretending to go abroad” flight piloted by its chairman on Aug. 7, and 188 tickets for the trip along Taiwan’s east coast were snapped up in 30 seconds, according to Focus Taiwan. Starlux did another flight for employees and paying customers on Aug. 16, also flown by its chairman. Tickets cost NT$4,221 ($144) each. EVA Airways Corp. filled all 309 seats on a special Father’s Day flight on Aug. 8, Focus Taiwan said.
- FRUIT & VEG DELIVERY: Low-cost travel pioneer AirAsia Group Bhd., which posted a record loss last month, started an Amazon.com-style platform selling fresh fruit and vegetables. AirAsia’s Ourfarm e-commerce venture aims to tap the airline’s cargo, logistics and payment capabilities to connect Malaysian farmers directly with hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. The site sells everything from potatoes and pak choi to pineapples and chicken.
- IN-FLIGHT MEALS, AT HOME: Air North, the 43-year-old airline that connects Canada’s remote Yukon with hubs such as Vancouver, branched into home-delivered airline meals. Menu offerings include beef pot pie for C$9.00 ($6.88) and a selection of cheesecakes for C$13.99. Customers can order as many as 20 of the pre-cooked, frozen meals at a time, to be dropped off by a driver the next business day. The meals are only available in neighbourhoods in the northwestern city of Whitehorse and the delivery charge is C$10.
- PAJAMAS AND ALMONDS: Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd. sold items typically given away to premium passengers, including 10,000 sets of pajamas that it said were snapped up in a matter of hours. The A$25 amenity packs usually doled out free to people in the front seats were available online and contained hand cream, tea bags, chocolate biscuits and smoked almonds, among other in-flight treats. Qantas may also salvage something from its Boeing 747s, which were retired early due to the crisis. A spokesman said some of the cabin interiors, such as first-class tray tables, might be sold as memorabilia.
Source: Gulf News