Air Safaris take-off for The Classic Safari Company

Expanded collection of small-group air tours through Outback by Air alliance

The pivot towards an Australian small-group domestic charter aircraft program has proven triumphant for The Classic Safari Company.

In October, as LATTE previously revealed, the Sydney-based travel company introduced a modest collection of new air safari private aircraft itineraries operating from Darwin, Cairns, Broome and Adelaide. That program has now nearly tripled in size as demand soars.

The Classic Safari Company is often recognised for its diverse wilderness programs in Africa, South America and India. But for several years now, it has offered domestic tour options for loyal clients who want a closer-to-home experience between long-haul overseas jaunts.

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The Classic Safari Company guests flying over the NSW Outback

The COVID-19 pandemic saw The Classic Safari Company Founder and Director, Julie McIntosh, bolster the local offering due to international border closures.

McIntosh said her Australia air safari range – accommodating between 8 and 11 guests – has already generated a mix of new clients for the 28-year old safari specialist, with many of those learning about the products through word of mouth.

“Our first promotion included interstate travel, which obviously was short lived as the situation in Victoria unfolded. However we pivoted and came up with a NSW-only trip which sold out, has travelled and was successful beyond our wildest dreams,” McIntosh said.

“It was a great group of clients who absolutely loved the formula being outback, varied scenery, unique locations, range of experiences that started with a pub crawl in Broken Hill and ended with fine dining in Mudgee at Zin House.”

Guests on The Classic Safari Company's first Australian air safari at Sillers Outlook, Arkaroola in the Flinders Ranges

The Classic Safari Company will offer 11 air safaris in 2021 – many of which have multiple departures and some itineraries have already sold out.

The new collection includes a six-day three-state Outback Loop by Air trip, 14-day Ultimate Outback Crusade visiting Longreach, Katherine, Kakadu, Kununurra, Broome, Uluru, Birdsville and more; an 8-day Red Centre Indulgence; and a 14-day Cape York & the Gulf Air Safari. (View the entire range and details here).

Outback by Air partnership

McIntosh has partnered with Outback by Air to deliver the collection of air tours. Headed by Phil Hines and business partner, Australian cricket legend Glenn McGrath, the duo grew up in rural Australia and share a passion for the outback and aviation.

Outback by Air Directors, Founder Phil Hines and Australian cricket legend, Glenn McGrath

Her business relationship with Outback by Air started when The Classic Safari Company sponsored The Royal Flying Doctors as part of the Outback Air Race. Hines competes in the event and it was from this alliance that a mutually beneficial relationship formed.

“Selling Australia was always done more proactively, however thanks to COVID, we’ve been forced to focus on what we offer and the fit with Outback by Air is a perfect one,” McIntosh explained.

The current stable of air safari options for 2021 is likely to be increased, with McIntosh telling LATTE am expansion of the program is a “work in progress already”.

The Classic Safari Company has also rolled out a reworked website which highlights the company’s wider range of holiday options in Australia, New Zealand and Polar regions, all with a central focus on nature-based, wilderness, owner/operator and exclusive experiences.


All images supplied and used with permission

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