Bringing speed dating to the ‘flight to nowhere’ concept, Eva Air in Taiwan finds a use for its resources that could find YOU the love of your life!
As we’ve already seen, most airlines have struggled badly from the beginning of the pandemic. Soon after the first lockdowns, airlines have looked for ways to use their planes and installations, to get some income. At first we saw events at airports, giving visitors the chance to board aircraft, before leaving again.
Then we saw ‘flights to nowhere’: passengers would take off, enjoy some local sights and land again. Qantas went further, with a 7-hour flight to the Antarctic and back! We even saw an evolution of the theme. ‘Flights to somewhere’ are a Qantas initiative to promote domestic travel, when international flights aren’t an option.
So how did we get from flights to nowhere to speed dating? This is the fruit of a collaboration between Eva Airways in Taiwan and Mobius, a travel company. They call their campaign ‘Fly! Love is in the Air’. So far they’ve organized three flights, on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year Day. For singles, obviously.
The Mobius travel company has been providing speed dating services before the pandemic. The company had already offered dating experiences in Taipei’s International Airport. So teaming with Eva Air to combine speed dating with a flight to nowhere, was a logical evolution!
“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”, said Chiang Tsung-Wei, the spokesperson for You and Me, the speed dating arm of Mobius.
What Speed Dating Flights Will Look Like
The speed dating flights will last three hours, with two more hours in the schedule on the ground. The flights will vary a bit. The Christmas Day flight will take place in the afternoon, followed by tea. The Eve flight starts with candlelit dinner before guests board, to count down the new year in flight. New Year’s is a breakfast flying date.
The guests’ focus should really be inside the aircraft during speed dating. Nonetheless, Eva Air will fly them to some nice sights. The daylight flights will take them to the east coast of Taiwan, over cityscapes and mountain ranges. The New Year’s Eve night flight will focus more on the illuminated cities. Weather-permitting, of course.
There are restrictions for who can participate, with criteria like age and education. Taiwanese citizenship is also a requirement. Even so, the first speed dating flight sold out in a week. Over 400 people applied, but speed dating flights are limited to 40 people only. The price is $295 per person.
These are strange times. People have criticized such initiatives, as a waste of airlines’ resources. But actually airlines need to keep their fleet and their staff working and productive. And three, three-hour flights might just do that. The publicity doesn’t hurt, either.