Singapore Airlines has sold out tickets for consumers to dine out on a stationary plane in an innovative attempt to generate revenue amid the pandemic.

Singapore diners have jumped at the chance to dine on a stationary Airbus A380 parked at the Changi Airport, despite the high price tag of up to $496 per head, with the airline reporting that the first two seating dates sold out within half an hour.

The airline currently plans to use two of its jumbo aircraft for each three-hour session. Each aircraft will be at half capacity to adhere to social distancing regulations. Diners will be allowed to choose a cabin class and watch a movie while they dine.

In response to the strong demand, the airline has added two more dates with diners being able to sign onto a waitlist for lunch and dinner sittings in the future. This innovative new offering showcases the airlines’ tenacity in times of hardship.

It is also now offering the home delivery of its meals, which includes the airline’s tableware and amenity kits.

Singapore Airlines has been hit hard by the pandemic

The Group reported a net loss of $1bn for the first quarter ended on 30 June after a 99.5% plunge in passenger traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic. Revenue for the Group fell by 79.3% to $851m year-on-year while expenditure dropped 51.6% to $1.89bn.

On 11 September, the company decided to cut 4,300 jobs, or approximately 20% of its staff, across its Singapore Airlines, SilkAir and Scoot amid the pandemic. The reduction is the result of collective measures, including a recruitment freeze, natural attrition and voluntary departure schemes, which have enabled the group to eliminate 1,900 positions.

While other airlines across the world are on the path to reviving their fortunes as domestic flights resume, this is not an option for an airline based in a city-state such as Singapore Airlines, meaning it has been forced to consider other options.

Other innovations have sprung up across Asia

Singapore Airlines isn’t the only airline, which has had to innovate to survive and other companies in Asia are also experimenting with new concepts.

A number of airlines have started offering so-called ‘flights to nowhere’, which see fights land at the same airport they take off from. Australian carrier Qantas recently swiftly sold out a sightseeing trip on one of its 787 Dreamliner’s, which flew around the country from Sydney and back. Taiwan’s Eva and Japan’s ANA have also tested out this concept.

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