Passengers on the Thai Airways “flight to nowhere”, which takes off and lands at Bangkok’s main airport, flew over almost a hundred sacred sites in Thailand on Monday in a bid to improve their karma and spiritual strength.
“Pray in the heights with Master Katha Chinnabanchon. Do a praiseworthy deed and enjoy the special service with promising food”, reads the airline announcement.
Flight TG8999 flew for about three hours over 99 sacred sites, including numerous Buddhist temples in some 30 cities across the country with tickets costing between $200 and $330.
The number 9, which is repeatedly associated with this flight, is considered lucky in Thailand.
Thai Airways is restructuring after filing for bankruptcy in May due to the effects of the pandemic, on top of years of losses in the millions.
Some 6,000 employees, or 30% of the airline’s 20,000 workers, have been dismissed as a result of the pandemic, while the rest have seen their salaries reduced.
With international flights limited due to the virus, the airline has sought strategies to increase its revenues, such as opening a restaurant with in-flight meal menus and flight simulators.
The Thai company is not the only airline trying new things amid the pandemic.
Japan’s ANA began offering flights to nowhere last August on a Hawaiian-themed Airbus A380, while planes from Taiwan’s StarLux Airlines fly over the South China Sea for about three hours without landing.
In Brunei, the Royal Brunei Airlines offers tickets to fly over the rainforests of this small nation in Southeast Asia for 85 minutes.
Thai Airways announced that it will repeat the “flight to nowhere” experience for New Year’s Day.