NEXT TIME I AM IN PUNJAB, GUESS WHERE I AM GOING????
For some reason, the world over, restaurateurs have looked at old and dead aircraft and thought: “Now this would be a fine restaurant.” Aircraft of all types — but predominantly airliners — have started their new lives as restaurants and bars at points all over the globe. Some restaurants play up the aircraft as a home for a good meal or drink. Other aircraft restaurant owners seem to treat the formerly flight-worthy shells of their aircraft as nothing but unromantic, durable containers for their culinary dreams, parked around the world like downed birds stripped of wings.
A retired passenger plane has found a new life as a restaurant in the northern Indian city of Ludhiana in Punjab. Hawai Adda is 72-seater restaurant that serves vegetarian food, and it is made out of a junk Airbus 320 that once flew for Air India.
It took more than a year to transform the plane into a restaurant and the name means ‘airport’ in Hindi. Hands Hospitality were behind the project and they wanted to retain most of the original elements of the aircraft. As a result, they had to hire experienced engineers and airline support staff to work on the renovation.
The opening of the airplane restaurant was delayed over fire safety issues, and it was also claimed that that its wings were touching the edges of the Ludhiana- Ferozepur national highway, which was viewed as a potential traffic hazard. These issues have now been resolved and the restaurant opened recently for business, where it thankfully doesn’t serve typical airline food. It also has a cafe, a bakery and a hall that can hold up to 40 people, and it holds the distinction of being India’s first airplane restaurant.
This is not an original idea as similar restaurant was open in Wuhan, China a while ago. Below is country’s first fine-dining restaurant inside a retired Boeing 737.
And here is more. Climb aboard this garishly painted former DC-10 which was used by Ghana Airways before the company went bankrupt in 2005. Colorful patterns top the airliner seats, and the restaurant serves West African and Ghanaian food, such as the fish palava sauce with eba and tilapia with banku. It can provide food for 118 guests at once.
This Boeing KC-97 is still dressed in the U.S. Air Force paint in which it spent its life after it rolled off the assembly line in 1953. In 2002, it started its second life as a restaurant in Colorado Springs, Colorado — the home of the U.S. Air Force Academy — right next to a Radisson Hotel. The KC-97 is one of the largest piston-engine aircrafts ever built by Boeing, and seats up to 275 diners and hold numerous photos and artifacts.
The next plane, a Fairchild C-123, is the sister aircraft of this plane now tucked away in Costa Rica as El Avión Restaurant. After the scandal, the plane was abandoned in the San Jose, Costa Rica, airport, before it was purchased in 2000 for $3,000 and split into sections, shipped via ocean ferry and transported on old railroad bridges to its current resting spot atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The restaurant’s chairs are sheltered by the aircraft’s wings and a roof extends behind the plane, underneath lazily turning fans and wooden chandeliers. Want food? Think seafood, steaks, nachos, salads, and French onion soup.
We know all about the McDonald’s chain fast food restaurant and its food. But have you eaten it in an airplane? Go to Taupo, New Zealand, where an old DC-3 is perched above traffic as an eye-catching sign and a small seating area. The DC-3 was built in 1943, and after a stint as a troop transport during World War II, it was owned by the Australian National Airways and spent some time as a crop duster before it was retired and placed in storage in 1984. Taupo mayor Rick Cooper bought the plane a year later for $20,000. It was installed as part of a McDonald’s restaurant in Taupo in 1990. The restaurant, owned by Des and Eileen Byrne, has been named one of the top 10 McDonald’s locations in the world.
This restaurant started as a Japanese-made, 45-seat puddlejumper of an airliner for WinAir. But the NAMC YS-11-111 was stripped down at the nearby airport and toted across the bay to its present resting place. Now it’s Air Lekkerbek, a bar and restaurant on the Dutch side of the island of St. Maarten (Saint-Martin on the French side), with additional flag-festooned seating on the outside, because 45 seats just aren’t enough. The jet might be missing part of its tail, but guess what? That’s just a good space to fit another Heineken sign. Air Lekkerbek offers grilled meat of all kinds, seafood, poultry and lunch platters and sandwiches.
This is how it looks inside after refurbishment. Not bad, I think.