With the global aviation industry in a lurch due to the coronavirus pandemic, many airlines are coming up with innovative offerings for their customers.
Here is another one.
Japan’s biggest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA) is providing a unique service for the travel-starved Japanese. It is offering a first-class dining, dubbed ‘restaurant with wings’, on a parked plane at a cool $540 a meal.
The dining experience takes place on a Boeing 777 parked at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
A first-class seat is expensive – it costs 59,800 yen. However, diners can opt for a cheaper business-class experience for 29,800 yen. Customers can choose their cuisine and preferences in advance from three food options: Japanese-style, Western-style beef or Western-style fish. Grilled sablefish with saikyo miso, simmered beef and tofu; Wagyu beef with Kobe wine mustard; and sautéed sea bass and shellfish bisque, served with Japanese sake, plum wine or Krug champagne are all on the menu.
“We designed this service so that customers can feel the ambience of the first and business class cabins with all the five senses,” said the manager of the new project. The idea was conceived by employees who wanted to make use of parked aircraft amid coronavirus travel restrictions.
On the first day of this innovative offering, 56 guests boarded the idle plane.
Yosuke Kimoto, 42, who had a business-class meal with his 14-year-old son, told Kyodo News: “It was a delicious meal. I’m glad that my kid enjoyed it too.”
His son also had a great time on the idle plane. “The business class was drastically different from the economy class in terms of both food and the seat. It was so spacious, and the seat was like a bed when reclined,” he told Nikkei Asia.
More such offerings have been planned by the ANA for April. While in-flight entertainment is not available, guests receive amenity kits and can use ANA’s lounge at Haneda’s domestic terminal.
However, ANA is not the first airline to come up with this concept. Singapore Airlines became the first carrier to launch its restaurant at idle planes last October, when it started offering meals on two A380 superjumbos parked at Changi airport in Singapore.
What do you think about this transformation of airlines? Would you like to have a meal at such a restaurant? Let us know your views in the comments section below.