The phrase ‘in-flight meal’ would normally elicit a grimace, if not outright nausea. Restaurateur Li Yang of Wuhan is hoping for a different response to his new restaurant, Lily Airways – a fine-dining establishment built inside a grounded Boeing 737.
The first of its kind in China, Lily Airways was inspired by a Swedish hotel made out of a converted airplane. Li reportedly spent RMB35 million to acquire the aircraft and have it outfitted as a restaurant. The plane can accommodate 70 patrons at a time, but guests will have far from a typical coach class experience. Despite the fact that waiters will be dressed as flight attendants and are required to be educated in aircraft service, it is unlikely that they will ask diners to turn off their phones or scold them for standing up during a particularly turbulent part of the meal.
The Western-style food on board will set you back about RMB200-300 – more than a bag of airline peanuts, but also less than your typical red-eye from Beijing to San Francisco, and likely a much more comfortable and enjoyable experience all around.