Singapore Airlines May Launch Flights To Nowhere

Filed Under: Singapore

Singapore Airlines’ next destination may be… nowhere.

Singapore Airlines considers flights to nowhere

Singapore has extremely strict entry requirements at the moment, so a vast majority of foreigners can’t visit, and similarly, Singaporeans aren’t traveling abroad much at the moment. Obviously this has put the national airline in a tough spot, as it’s operating only a tiny percentage of its regular service.

The Straits Times is reporting that Singapore Airlines is considering launching “flights to nowhere,” to allow Singaporeans to get on a plane without actually leaving the country. Based on what we know so far:

  • The flights would take around three hours, and would both takeoff and land at Singapore Changi Airport
  • Singapore Airlines may launch these flights as early as late October

It’s not yet known how many of these flights would be operated, what plane would be used, what the onboard service would be like (hopefully Singapore Airlines has lots of excess Dom and Krug?!), and how much tickets would cost.

Could these flights have Dom & Krug?!

However, the airline seems to think it could be a money-maker. Last month it was announced that Singaporeans would receive $320 million in “tourism credits” they could use to boost the local economy. The airline allegedly hopes to work with the Singapore Tourism Board so that people could use their vouchers for these flights.

What plane would Singapore Airlines use for these flights?

A few more thoughts…

Singapore Airlines wouldn’t be the first airline to offer flights to nowhere. We’ve already seen other airlines offer similar concepts — All Nippon Airways has operated an A380 flight to nowhere, while EVA Air operated a Hello Kitty flight to nowhere.

Those flights that have been operated have been extremely popular, given the novelty, and also given that people are just generally excited to travel again, and getting on a plane can be part of that.

At the same time, with environmentalism being an increasingly important topic in the airline industry, am I the only one surprised we haven’t seen more backlash over these flights? I’m not saying there necessarily should be, but I’ve heard almost nothing negative about these flights so far, which… surprises me.

EVA Air has operated Hello Kitty flights to nowhere

Bottom line

Singapore Airlines is seriously considering launching flights to nowhere, as early as next month. If this does happen, I can’t wait to see the details, like what onboard service will be like, how many flights there will be, etc.

Would you take a “flight to nowhere?”

(Tip of the hat to SINJim)

Comments
  1. While Australian flights to nowhere (Antarctica) had a ‘sightseeing’ purpose behind them, the SIA (and ANA) flights just seems to be horribly wasteful. If customers want to pretend to be flying, why not board the planes, close the aircraft door and deliver the inflight service on the ground? You get the seats, the airplane smell, the meals, the IFE…
    Do they really need to burn thousands of gallons of kerosene for this to play pretend?

  2. Everyone too quick to quote the environment – like any airline right now, they are struggling to get their pilots to meet their minimum hours to stay rated on the aircraft, and the aircraft have to be flown every so often as well. They would be doing such flights empty anyways to meet this requirement, so why not take people on a flight to nowhere if they can collect some money along the way?

  3. Singapore doesn’t really allow any political dissent or protests, so I’m not surprised we aren’t seeing anything.

  4. I agree with @willmissthe 747, why not add some sort of sightseeing aspect to it? It doesn’t have to be as extreme as Antarctica, but something… Otherwise it just seems like a huge waste.

  5. Why not?!? Taiwan’s airlines have been doing them and planning to do more flights to nowhere during tradition Chinese holidays and new year and the responses are great. It’s a win-win situation for the airlines and customers.

  6. Singapore Airlines on a flight to nowhere to last three hours

    MH370: Are you kidding me? That’s insultingly low!

    (P.S.- I hope this joke doesn’t offend anyone. I don’t mean any disrespect for the 239 souls and their families/friends onboard the Boeing 777-200 which disappeared from radars on the 8th of March,2014)

  7. Lucky,

    Do you think SQ’s US-based Fifth Freedom routes (e.g. IAH to MAN) will be operating again by next summer or are they probably shelved until years from now/canceled permanently? For example, while you can still buy revenue tickets for SQ 51/52, I’ve noticed you can no longer make award bookings of any kind for next summer and beyond.

  8. Best if we can burn some miles eh. Seriously though, three hours flight they can at least circle Indonesia or Malaysia bit….

  9. Contrary to what Stu says, political dissent is permitted in Singapore as long as it is true and not a bunch of lies. The opposition leader was not jailed but given extra staff and money for expenses as Leader of the Opposition.

    Protest is freely allowed as an individual but larger groups need permits to protest outdoors on public land or public right of ways.

    The press likes to brainwash people to think that Singapore is only a little better than Iran.

  10. How can a flight be three hours and never leave Singapore ? I can jog across Singapore in less than three hours.

    Why not just drink champagne at home in your robe ?

    It’s a stupid gimmick. I don’t want a whiff. I want to travel again.

  11. Would the crew and passengers go thru passport control? SIN does not have any gates outside the passport control area.

  12. This is so wrong. A total waste of the remaining carbon budget we have left before we go into a real climate emergency.

  13. Let’s take a lap around Japan island then return to Singapore! That will give me 10 hours or so of Krug & Dom binge-drinking party in sky!

  14. I disagree – what a fantastic idea. Lucky over the past 6+ months there have been so many less flights so even if every airline started operating flights to nowhere then there would still be less emissions than if coronavirus didn’t happen and all that normal flying was still happening. Plus it stimulates the economy and employs people – finally flight attendants and pilots can get some work again. Plus it would be so fun and add some joy to consumers who some of are going through a really tough time. @Lucky I am really surprised you are opposed to this.

  15. Those who are opposed to this are invited to sit at home sucking their thumbs. I think it is a novel idea to get things moving. If people are prepared to pay to get on a flight to nowhere, then what is your problem? the government is encouraging Singaporeans to spend so that money trickles down the economy.

  16. Hello all smallminded people who are opposed to these flights that go nowhere: Have any of you heard of Disneyland or Universal Studios that have lots of rides that don’t go to a particular destination and end up exactly where they started? Millions of people each year (prior to the pandemic) pay a lot of money to go on all kinds of rides that don’t go anywhere – all the time.

  17. If a pilot can’t fly for 90 or so days, the pilot is subject to re-training. These nowhere flights may be a way to avoid retraining, and letting customers get on it will be a good promotion of the airline.

  18. I would rather have them fly to Mt. Fuji, take a turn and fly back.

    Full meals.
    Full entertainment.

    A sunset flight to Mt. Fuji, i would pay $300/$700 in Y/C

  19. For many years, British Airways operated ‘Concorde Experience’ charter ‘flights to nowhere’ – take-off, two hours in the air (some at supersonic speed) with champagne and meal service and a landing back at the departure airport, or at another airport nearby with bus travel back to the original departure airport. It was a money-spinner and kept Concorde flying when, otherwise, it might have been pulled from service due to insufficient revenue being generated on the North Atlantic route. The flights were particularly popular with the families and friends of the British Aerospace workers at Filton (Bristol) where the British Concordes were built.

  20. Out here in Seattle, all I want to do is get on a plane. At the same time, planes to nowhere does seem a little environmentally overzealous as I can’t leave my apartment without an N95 as I’m in remission from lung cancer. Weird world man.

  21. I mean skipping over the other giant glaring problems, this is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Now a United Flight where they never take off, just beat you over the head and drag you off the plane, that’s something I’d pay for.

  22. Yes – these flights are to keep SQ pilots certified. Although procedures can be kept up to date on a simulator, there is still an “actual” flight requirement. Qantas pilots in Australia are doing sim time to keep their certs up to date practicing various scenarios that woud ONLY be attempted in a simulator but actual flight time is required. (Jump seat time is not counted).

  23. I’m going to call this bluff.

    It will be a triangle flight… SIN to SIN via the duty free resort islands like Sanya, Macau, Hong Kong, Khon Kaen, Banyuwangi (Bali West), Chongqing. Destinations where they are literally stuck in the airport, or one enclosed region, before returning.

  24. I found this comment and the most important answer to WHY THE HECK is in the comment. But it should ne in the original blog post. Poorly researched.

    Rob says:
    September 12, 2020 at 11:37 am
    Everyone too quick to quote the environment – like any airline right now, they are struggling to get their pilots to meet their minimum hours to stay rated on the aircraft, and the aircraft have to be flown every so often as well. They would be doing such flights empty anyways to meet this requirement, so why not take people on a flight to nowhere if they can collect some money along the way?

  25. For everyone citing the enviorment, if the pandemic was not happening, there would be no travel restrictions and more flights in the air. I doubt there would be much concern for the enviorment then since the people who are “concerned” about the enviorment would be traveling.

  26. Yes, yes, yes, and tons of social media footage resulting from this, of course! The Instagram economy – brains not welcome.

  27. I think the idea has some possibilities. In-flight lecture series, concert, business meeting, or perhaps an in-flight wedding.

  28. I would do it BUT no one has mentioned about Covid-19 the chances of getting it on the flight.
    Is a covid-19 swab test being done before the flight?

  29. I don’t mind them doing this. If they can get some money for flights that their pilots need anyway then no problem. I’m just curious what the passengers get out of it. Unless there’s a sightseeing aspect, what’s the point?

    The only other flights to nowhere I know of is that United does Christmas “flights to the north pole” for kids at their hub where they have a little party at one gate, then board for an hour flight, then land at another gate that’s decked out like the north pole (the kids are little enough that they don’t suspect anything when after arriving at the “north pole” they can hop in their cars and drive home 🙂

    But it’s not a money maker. It’s free for kids from local hospitals and other charities.

  30. I think this would work for Singaporeans who are skeptical about going overseas or the overseas rules they have to follow, and yet can’t wait to hop onto the plane. Along the way, they would have gained more understanding of how traveling is like in the new normal and get used to it? I don’t see the cons here. This pandemic has been taking a while now, people need a break.

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