Flights to nowhere are rising in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic as travel restrictions prohibit most border crossings these days. In Taiwan, EVA Air is partnering with travel experience company Mobius for the “Fly! Love is in the Air” campaign. The campaign features flights to nowhere, designed for singles, on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
Chiang Tsung-Wei of Mobius told CNN, “Because of Covid-19, EVA Air has been organizing “faux travel” experiences to fulfill people’s desire for travel. When single men and women travel, apart from enjoying the fun in travel, they may wish to meet someone — like a scene in a romantic movie.”
The experience includes a three-hour flight from Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport that circles around Taiwan, plus an extra two hours of date-time back on land. Passengers will be able to sample meals cooked by Michelin-starred chef Motoke Nakamura, and mingle in speed-dating fashion while aboard (keeping their masks on, of course).
The Christmas flight will be followed by afternoon tea on the ground, the New Year’s Eve flight begins with candlelit dinner before boarding, and the New Year’s Day flight will include a breakfast date.
According to Chiang, “The biggest advantage of speed dating on a flight comes from the serious nature from our participants. In addition to gathering participants with enough spending power, it also attracts a group of single people who love traveling. With the same values, it boosts participants’ motivation to meet and helps smoothen their conversation from the start.”
Each flight will have 20 men and 20 women, who are required to be university graduates with Taiwanese citizenship. Men must be between 28 and 38 years old, while women must be between 24 and 35. The cost is $295 per person.
The flight certainly follows the classic Christmas rom-com trope of meeting your soulmate on a plane, though this is a more manufactured, less environmentally-friendly version. Flights to nowhere are a creative way for airlines to stay in business during the pandemic, but they also create unnecessary CO2 emissions.