Aussies are being offered an exciting new way to see the supermoon and lunar eclipse up close when it surfaces later this month. Qantas has unveiled a particular moon-viewing as its latest unusual flight experience.
On May 26, the flying kangaroo will conduct a three-hour scenic flight over Sydney before climbing to an altitude of 40,000 to view the last super moon and lunar eclipse for the year.
It’s the first time the airline has conducted an eclipse flight since its Boeing 747 in 2003 took passengers on a 14-hour round-trip to chase a total solar eclipse.
The voyage departing Sydney will be on one of Qantas’ Boeing 787 Dreamliners and is off the back of several recent one-offs put on by the airline, including mystery flights and scenic low-level fly-bys.
A ticket for the experience costs $499 for the economy, $899 for the premium economy, and $1499 for business, with the fares expected to go on sale on Wednesday. Roughly 130 tickets will be available.
Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said the recent mystery flights sold out in 15 minutes and were an indication Australians were looking for unique flying experiences.
“We are very excited to now be doing a super moon scenic flight, and the 787 has the largest windows of any passenger aircraft, so it’s ideal for moon gazing,” Ms. Tully said.
“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.”
What’s unique about the lunar eclipse coinciding with a super moon is the moon will turn red against the night sky. CSIRO is assisting Qantas pilots in determining the best flight path for the night to provide excellent viewing for passengers.
The journey is expected to go over the Pacific Ocean, and CSIRO astronomer Dr. Vanessa Moss will be on the plane to provide further information about the rare spectacle.
At roughly 11.50am AEST on May 26, the moon will be at its closest to the earth, while the total lunar eclipse is set to occur between 9.11pm and 9.25pm.
The airline also includes a tailored moon-themed menu, including cosmic cocktails and super moon cakes.