Qantas launches a "mysterious flight" in an effort to boost domestic tourism across Australia and fuel an industry that has plummeted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
That day trip, in which passengers don't know where they are going while on a plane, was popular in the 1990s.
Airlines across the region are devising different strategies to cope with falling travel rates due to the pandemic. Thai Airways announced this week it would cut its workforce by 50%.
The decline has led to a disbursement of government bailouts, an industrial slump and massive layoffs.
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The airline industry is facing a severe drop in passenger numbers amid "uneven vaccination rollouts around the world which will only delay full reopening of borders", according to the Asia Pacific Airline Association (AAPA).
The AAPA figures released this week show that the number of passengers for January stood at just 4% compared to the same month last year, when 33.5 million passengers flew across the Asia Pacific region.
On Tuesday (02/03), Thai Airways International said it plans to cut its staff size by half in the next few years, as part of the troubled national airline's rehabilitation plan.
The airline plans to have 13,000 to 15,000 employees on its books by 2025, after announcing last month it would cut hundreds of management and supervisory positions.
A flight without a destination
Qantas was one of the first airlines to offer a flight without a destination, taking off and landing at the same airport after traveling at low altitude through iconic sites in Australia.
The mysterious flight is the Australian airline's newest tactic to seduce more passengers to travel.
The flight will use one of three Qantas Boeing 737 aircraft from Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney with economy fares starting from A $ 737 (Rp8.2 million).
The daily package includes a variety of activities, from wine making and lunch prepared by gastronomists to snorkeling on the islands.
With international borders unlikely to reopen until 2022, Qantas is asking the government for certainty on domestic travel after Australia's Covid-19 vaccine launch.
"What we're looking for is assurance that at some point in time, or at a vaccine launch point, further border closings will be ruled out," said Qantas group executive Andrew Parker.
"Tourists are confused by the patchwork of rapidly changing restrictions and are understandably worried about being locked out of their own state or destination," he said.
iPhone That Can't Whatsapp
The WhatsApp messaging app is reportedly no longer supporting the app on iPhones running iOS 9.
As reported by BGR, Tuesday (9/3), a WABetaInfo source explained that iOS 9 devices running WhatsApp beta version 2.21.50 will not be able to run the text and voice messaging application.
The iOS 9 operating system applies to owners of iPhone 4 and below, because the device will not be able to update to the latest version of iOS.
However, his party has not yet updated the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, which is the question column for the platform's user guidelines.
According to the official FAQ page, WhatsApp states, its instant messaging platform currently supports all iPhones running iOS 9 or later. For Android, it supports all Android phones running Android 4.0.3 or higher.
The company is expected to immediately update the FAQ page with the latest operating version that matches the version support, before launching the next update, as quoted by BGR.
Previously, as many as millions of smartphones reportedly could no longer use the WhatsApp application on January 1, 2020. This happened because WhatsApp would only be able to be used on certain operating systems.
WhatsApp will only work on smartphones running the Android 4.0.3 operating system or above, as well as iPhones running iOS versions above 9.
Any iPhone that doesn't run iOS 9 or later will no longer be able to open or operate the Facebook-owned app, The Independent reported.
This means that all iPhone models up to iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will not be able to support WhatsApp, because this phone is not missing the iOS 10 update.
On the other hand, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S owners can still update their operating system if they haven't because they were all released before iOS 9.
Phone owners can see what software their device is using by checking the settings section. For iPhone users, this can be found by going to Settings> General> Software update.
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