A man was surprised to find that he was the only passenger on board a Boeing 737 flight to Italy.
Skirmantas Strimaitis, a Lithuanian national, booked a one-way ticket to northern Italy. He was flying from Vilnius to Bergamo for a skiing trip on March 16 and was in for a shock when he discovered he had the entire Boeing 737-800 to himself.
The plane, which has a seating capacity of 189, had only Skirmantas, two pilots, and five crew members in it.
This comes after 157 people on board a Boeing 737 owned by Ethiopian Airlines were killed in a plane crash en route to Nairobi.
Strimaitis suspected something was amiss when he went to check in at Lithuania’s Vilnius International Airport and was told the crew were waiting for him. After asking why, Strimaitis was informed that he was the sole passenger on board.
Tour operator Novaturas confirmed to CNN Travel they chartered a flight from Bergamo to Vilnius for a group of clients that day. In order to avoid the aircraft coming back empty, one-way tickets were put on sale for the return trip.
However, Strimaitis was the only person to buy one. Leading to what he describes as a “unique and unreal” experience.
He told CNN Travel:
The crew seemed quite confused at first. Maybe it was a new experience for them as well.
I was provided with a personal pre-flight safety demonstration. Then I just enjoyed the flight by taking selfies and writing. To have silence on a plane was very unusual. I was smiling all day.
Strimaitis says the pilot referred to him as “Mr Passenger” while speaking over the tannoy after the plane landed at Orio al Serio International Airport in Bergamo.
“The crew said how nice it was to have me on the board,” he explains. “I’m sure it was an easy job for them.”