Have plane, will fly, right? Well, yes, maybe in another lifetime when the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t bring everything to a grinding halt.
Airlines have lost countless millions of rands as global travel all but came to a standstill this year – and with a second wave crashing into many a country in the northern hemisphere now, another major clampdown looms.
But Singapore Airlines has shown that innovation is often a solution in tough times and reinvented two of their jets parked on the tarmac of Changi Airport – by turning them into restaurants to help recoup some of the losses.
It’s been a great success. Reservations for the eateries onboard the double-decker Airbus A380 superjumbos sold out in just half an hour on Monday and a waiting list has already been implemented.
“We?are grateful for the extremely strong support from our customers, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Restaurant A380 @Changi experience,” said Lee Lik Hsin, Singapore Airlines’ executive vice president of commercial, in a statement.
Prices range from $475 (R7 840) to dine in one of the planes’ private suites to $40 (R661) for a meal in economy class and patrons can choose from menus designed by renowned chefs.
“Options include our signature international cuisine, as well as the best dishes from our special Peranakan menu that has been designed by acclaimed Singaporean chef Shermay Lee,” Lee says.
In keeping with the Covid-19 guidelines, only half of the planes' seats are made available and groups of up to five are seated a safe distance from one another. Temperature screening and masks are mandatory except when dining.
“With Covid-19 drastically reducing the number of flights operated by the Singapore Airlines Group, we have created unique activities that would allow us to engage with our fans and customers during this time,” said the airline’s CEO, Goh Choon Phong.
Those not lucky enough to get a booking can have their meals delivered to them at home where it comes with a welcome video, instructions on preparing the food and “a specially curated playlist to recreate the Singapore Airlines onboard experience”.
The restaurant is one of several experiments the airline is trying in a bid to help boost their decimated business.
Several other airlines have started similar initiatives. Australian airline Qantas recently offered a seven-hour “flight to nowhere” that sold out in just 10 minutes.
The flight departs from Sydney and returns on the same day, making no stops and promising passengers low-level scenic views over Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef, among other spots.
SOURCES: NYPOST.COM, DAILYMAIL.CO.UK