Sydney-based astronomy enthusiasts lucky enough to score a ticket will be in for a treat later this month.
Australia’s flag carrier has just announced its latest offering in a series of special flights launched since the pandemic brought international travel to a virtual halt. On Wednesday, May 26, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be deployed for a one-off Sydney to Sydney service, allowing a limited number of passengers to enjoy a closer viewing of the upcoming supermoon. Adding to the excitement will be a special inflight menu, with cosmic cocktails and supermoon-themed cakes to mark the occasion.
According to the airline, it will be the second and last supermoon for 2021. The phenomenon is also coinciding with a full lunar eclipse, when the moon is expected to turn red against the night sky. Dr. Vanessa Moss, an astronomer with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, will work with the pilots to design the optimal flight path over the Pacific Ocean, and join the flight to provide insights into supermoons and all things space-related.
Qantas’s Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully said in a statement, “We are very excited to now be doing a supermoon scenic flight and the 787 has the largest windows of any passenger aircraft so it’s ideal for moon gazing. We think this flight has great appeal for anyone with a passion for astronomy, science, space photography, aviation or just keen to do something a little ‘out of this world’.”
The three-hour flight will depart from Sydney and begin with a scenic flyover of Sydney Harbour before climbing above any potential cloud cover and atmosphere pollution to a cruising altitude of 43,000 feet (just over 13,100 meters), which is the maximum cruising altitude of a Dreamline, for supermoon and full lunar eclipse viewing. The total lunar eclipse is forecast to occur between 9:11pm and 9:25pm AEST on May 26, with the moon coming closest to the Earth earlier in the day.
Just over 100 seats will go on sale via qantas.com at midday on Wednesday, May 12, with fares starting from A$499 for economy (with a Qantas Points earn of 1,500 points plus 20 Status Credits), A$899 for premium economy (Qantas Points earn of 2,500 and 40 Status Credits) and A$1,499 for business (4,000 Qantas Points earn plus 80 Status Credits).
More information here.