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Singapore Airlines turns grounded jets into pop-up restaurants

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 10/12/2020 Dan Avery For Dailymail.com
a person sitting at a table in front of a car: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

Singapore Airlines (SIA) is turning two jets parked at Changi Airport into pop-up restaurants as a way to recoup losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reservations for seats aboard the double-decker Airbus A380 superjumbos sold out in a half-hour on Monday, despite a cost of up to $475 (£365) per person.

Following COVID-19 guidelines, only half of the planes' seats are available during the special event, being held October 24 and 25.

Customers can also opt to have their meal delivered to their home, where it will come with a welcome video, instructions on preparing and plating the food and 'a specially curated playlist to recreate the SIA onboard experience.'

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a person sitting on the seat of a car: Singapore Airlines is turning two double-decker jumbo jets parked at Changi Airport into pop-up restaurants this month, as a way to recoup losses during the coronavirus pandemic © Provided by Daily Mail Singapore Airlines is turning two double-decker jumbo jets parked at Changi Airport into pop-up restaurants this month, as a way to recoup losses during the coronavirus pandemic

Prices for the 'Restaurant A380 @Changi' experience range from $475 to dine in one of the jets' private suites down to $40 for a meal in economy class.

Guests will be able to choose from special menus designed by renowned chefs for each cabin class, the airline said.  

'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.'

A limited number of pre-lunch tours of the A380 are also being made available.   

a plate of food on a table: Reservations sold out in a half-hour on Monday, despite a cost of up to $475 per person in one of the planes private suites. Diners will receive limited-edition souvenirs and discounts at the airline gift shop, as well as a special gift if they come in traditional heritage dress © Provided by Daily Mail Reservations sold out in a half-hour on Monday, despite a cost of up to $475 per person in one of the planes private suites. Diners will receive limited-edition souvenirs and discounts at the airline gift shop, as well as a special gift if they come in traditional heritage dress Leo Esaki et al. standing around a plane: Following COVID-19 guidelines, only half of the planes' seats are available during the special event, being held October 24 and 25. Both diners and crew members will undergo temperature screening before boarding and be required to wear a face mask except when eating or drinking © Provided by Daily Mail Following COVID-19 guidelines, only half of the planes' seats are available during the special event, being held October 24 and 25. Both diners and crew members will undergo temperature screening before boarding and be required to wear a face mask except when eating or drinking

Diners will also receive limited-edition souvenirs and discounts at the SIA gift shop, as well as a special present if they don 'traditional heritage wear.'

On the plane, groups of up to five will be seated a safe distance from each other. 

Both diners and crew members will undergo temperature screening before boarding and be required to wear a face mask at all times, except when consuming food or drinks.

With all the spots sold out, the airline has already started a waitlist and is looking into options to 'potentially accommodate some of those who are still interested in this unique dining experience,' Vice President of Commercial Operations Lee Lik Hsin said, according to Bloomberg.

The pop-up dining experience is just one of the ways the top-rated airline is looking to make money, after reporting a net loss of $825 million in the second quarter of 2020 and laying off a fifth of its workforce.

Other schemes including behind-the-scenes tours of its training facilities that include a grooming workshop and a spin in a flight simulator.

'With Covid-19 drastically reducing the number of flights operated by the SIA Group, we have created unique activities that would allow us to engage with our fans and customers during this time,' SIA Chief Executive Officer Mr Goh Choon Phong said.

'These experiences offer something for everyone – from frequent flyers who miss our world-class in-cabin products and service, to couples and families who want an exclusive dining experience, and parents who are after an enjoyable activity-filled day with their children during the school holidays.'

The carrier had toyed with having sightseeing 'flights to nowhere,' as other airlines have, but abandoned the idea after complaints by environmental advocates.

Singapore Airlines frequently tops industry lists for everything from customer service to in-flight meals.

Last year, it partnered with AeroFarms, a vertical farming operation near Newark International Airport, to provide fresh greens for passengers' dishes less than 24 hours after they were picked.

Singapore Air also has its own dedicated sommelier, with a $30 million budget to acquire wines that work well at 30,000 feet.

'I choose wines that have enough flavor intensity to cut through the unfavorable, palate-numbing conditions,' of the cabin air pressure, Jeannie Cho Lee told Newsweek. 'We know that not only the flavor changes of the wine but the structure too. It's the same with food.'

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