Would You Board a Plane Just for a Meal? This New Restaurant Hopes So
Attention, people who enjoy eating on airplanes.
Over the past decade, airplanes have taken significant measures to improve their food offerings, recruiting Michelin-starred chefs and world-class sommeliers to build out dining programs for their first- and business-class passengers. The seriousness with which plane food is now approached has reached a new and somewhat strange height: An old Air India Airbus 320 has been converted into a full-service restaurant, but the plane isn't flying anywhere. That is, you board the airplane to eat dinner and stay ground-bound for the duration of your meal.
The new restaurant, Runway 1, is located in Haryana, India, and, while inside an old airplane, it's more spacious than it was in its former life as a functioning plane, as all the original seating was taken out to fit tables and waiter service.
"My wife Shruti, who was an air hostess with Jet Airways, and I came up with the idea," said owner Kshitij Kakkar to the Indian Express. "It took us almost a year to set this up as the aircraft came disassembled from Delhi. It was junked by Air India. We were able to procure it through an agent."
This isn't the first time an airplane has been converted into a restaurant. In 2016, a restaurant called Lily Airways, nestled inside a retired Boeing 737, opened in Wuhan, China, serving what they called "international airplane food."
Judging from Runway 1's Facebook page, the food seems to taste much better than what you'd usually find on an airplane, with one commenter shouting out the dahi ke kabab, kadai chicken and dal makhni as the best dishes. (A few noted that the wait can be up to an hour, but what else could you expect from a novelty concept restaurant?)
There's a well-established tradition of restaurants on non-moving trains, so perhaps airplane eateries are the next frontier in stationary transportation dining. The biggest question will be if people want to step foot on a plane—let alone eat on one—if they're not traveling somewhere. At least there's not the hassle of security, or tomato juice spilling on your lap during turbulence.