Singapore diners have jumped at the opportunity to have lunch on a stationary Airbus A380 parked at the city’s main airport, despite a price tag of up to $496 (£380), the first two seating dates sold out within half an hour. The airline has added two more dates, with diners signing onto a waitlist for lunch and dinner sittings. Singapore Airlines is one of many carriers looking for new business models to make up for lost revenues, the airline currently plans to use two Airbus A380 aircraft for each three-hour session.
Each one will be half full to help adhere to social distancing regulations, diners will be allowed to choose a cabin class (with an economy seat starting at about $39) and watch a movie while they dine, but the planes won’t leave the ground, the airline is also offering home delivery of its meals, which also includes the airline’s tableware and amenity kits. Previously the airline had considered offering “flights to nowhere”, but later dropped the idea, other airlines, including Taiwan’s Eva and Australia’s Qantas both pressed ahead with sightseeing flights which land at the same airport they take off from.
Singapore Airlines has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, last month the airline announce it would lay off 4,300 staff, or about 20% of its workforce, and while some airlines hope to revive their fortunes with domestic flights as lockdowns are lifted, that’s not an option for an airline based in a city-state. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned that hundreds of thousands of aviation jobs could be at risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the association, which represents 290 airlines, says it expects traffic this year to be 66% below the level it was in 2019.