India will soon get another aircraft restaurant, as an ex-Air India A320 was recently seen being transported to Hyderabad in South India. The truck carrying the aircraft gathers quite a crowd wherever it passes on its way to Hyderabad, where the structure will eventually become one of many such restaurants being opened in the country.

A320 restaurant

A video recently went viral in India showing a plane’s fuselage being carried from the state of Kerala to Hyderabad in Telangana. Curious onlookers crowded the truck, wondering where the wingless body of the aircraft was headed.

The plane previously belonged to Air India and was bought by a restaurant owner in Hyderabad in an auction. The entire journey of the aircraft across the South Indian states to Hyderabad is expected to take a few weeks, following which it will be transformed into a restaurant.

Transporting a plane through the busy highways in India is no small task. The truck carrying the tightly secured plane must travel at very slow speeds to avoid damage and be careful around huge crowds that gather to watch the spectacle. Last year, another ex-Air India plane got stuck under a foot overbridge in Delhi while being transported in a similar manner by road.

About the aircraft

The aircraft in question is an Airbus A320 which flew for Air India for many years before being decommissioned by the airline.

Registered as VT-ESE, it is almost 30 years old and was first delivered to Indian Airlines in 1993. Later, when the domestic carrier became Air India, VT-ESE also became part of the merged entity (shown in the image below).

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Air India Airbus A320

Per ch-aviation, it had its first flight in May 1993 and has accrued 62,393 hours in its lifetime, spread across almost 41,000 flight cycles and an average daily utilization of 6:22 hours.

Interesting use of decommissioned planes in India

This isn’t the first Air India aircraft to get a new lease of life post-retirement. In 2012, a Delhi-based scrap dealer purchased an A320 fuselage from Air India for around $24,000 to convert it into a museum devoted to the Indian spiritual master Sai Baba.

Another retired Air India plane was purchased by a Bengaluru-based company specializing in turning airplane scraps into theme restaurants.

In fact, aircraft restaurants have become very popular in India lately. A report by stated that many aircraft fuselages are in hot demand, mainly in north India, where they are increasingly being converted into restaurants. The state of Rajasthan has a couple of Boeing 737s converted into restaurants, while the state of Haryana features a few A320s.

Another A320 has been converted into a luxurious office space at the Serum Institute of India in Pune, the leading vaccine producer in India. Its owner Adar Poonawalla spent around $1 million to turn it into a workspace that features a lounge, boardroom, and even a bedroom.

With India’s fleet set to multiply in the coming years, replacing older planes, perhaps we’ll see more unique things made out of retired aircraft.

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