Shaking up the growing trend of ‘flights to nowhere’, Taiwanese carrier EVA Airways has launched a new speed dating flight helping singles find their perfect match.
In recognition of the fact that singles often travel the world in search of love, the airline has launched the ‘Fly! Love is in the Air’ campaign in partnership with travel experience company Mobius, to help them do just that, without leaving the country.
The experience will include a three-hour flight from Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport, up into the Taiwanese airspace, before returning back to the ground, ahead of another two hours of romantic date opportunities back on land.
The mingling singles will be prompted to indulge in in-depth conversations, and each enjoy meals prepared by Michelin-starred chef Motoke Nakamura.
In keeping COVID-safe, guests will be asked to wear face masks when they are not eating or drinking, although Taiwan has extremely low figures of COVID-19 cases.
There will be three speed dating flights in total, taking place on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with each flight being unique.
Those taking the Christmas flight will be offered and afternoon tea date, while those flying on New Year’s Eve will be offered a candlelit dinner once back on land, to ring in the new year.
Meanwhile the last flight, on New Year’s Day, will offer singles the opportunity to speed date over brunch.
Onboard the flights, guests will be able to move around freely and chat with others, while having the same opportunity while they eat back on land.
The two daytime EVA Air matchmaking flights will fly above the east coast of Taiwan, with mountain range views that stretch from Hualien City in the north to Taitung City in the south.
Meanwhile, the nighttime flight will go over the western shoreline of the island, where they will see Taiwan’s cities illuminated in the darkness.
“The biggest advantage of speed dating on a flight comes from the serious nature from our participants,” Chiang Tsung-Wei, the spokesperson for the speed dating arm of Mobius said.
“In addition to gathering participants with enough spending power, it also attracts a group of single people who love traveling. With the same values, it boosts participants’ motivation to meet and helps smoothen their conversation from the start.”
The company has seen some backlash against the exclusivity and selection criteria applied for these matchmaking flights, however.
Each flight will only seat 40 passengers — 20 men and 20 women – and participants have to be university graduates with citizenship in Taiwan.
Further, applications for the event are only available for men between 28 and 38 years old, and women between 24 and 35 years of age.
“From different surveys we have done, most of the male participants would like to meet women younger than them while female participants would like to meet men older than them. That’s why there is a different age criteria for the event,” Chiang said.
The fee for each trip is approximately US$294 per person, though all 40 seats for the first flight on Christmas Say have now been filled, selling out within a week.
The company said that they had over 400 applications so far, with applications still open for the second two “love flights”.