Vol. 5 Num 448 Mon. August 29, 2005  
Star City

First-ever airplane restaurant in city in three months

The country's first-ever airplane restaurant will be opened in Dhaka inside the shell of the F-28 aircraft that crashed near Sylhet airport earlier this year.

The restaurant is the brainchild of Captain Mostafa Aolad, a Bangladeshi expatriate pilot in London, who owns two such restaurants in the UK.

"I always dreamed of doing something for my country. And this is a small initiative to fulfill my dream. I believe this restaurant will attract tourists," said Captain Mostafa.

Captain Mostafa is hopeful about launching the restaurant by the next three months. It will have the capacity of serving 100 people at a time.

"There are many people in the country who have never got a chance to get into

an airplane. They will be able to enjoy the real in-flight hospitality while visiting the restaurant," said Captain Mostafa.

Mostafa joins hands with local food shop Western Grill to establish the restaurant at an estimated cost of Tk 1 crore. They have already purchased the shell of the aircraft from Biman Bangladesh Airlines at Tk 11 lakh through tender.

They have planned to bring the plane to Dhaka and set it up near Ashulia. "We have bought 3 bighas of land and will start work to turn it into a virtual airport," said Mostafa.

They are also looking for an alternative and convenient place for the city dwellers to establish the unique kind of restaurant.

"If we get a piece of land near the airport or in Tejgaon, we will prefer that and we are hopeful to get it," said Wahidur Rahman, chairman, Western Grill.

The atmosphere around the restaurant will be similar to that of an airport. One has to reach the restaurant through a runway.

This runway will take the guests into a terminal building with a 3,000 square feet reception area where the guests would enjoy music and can take light food.

And then the guests will enter the restaurant where waiters dressed up as cabin crew serve them with European, Chinese and Indian food.

Mostafa said they will dismantle the plane, now lying in Sylhet, into three parts and will reassemble them after bringing to Dhaka.

"We will refurbish the aircraft. Even its cockpit will be a realistic one," Mostafa said.

Besides taking food, the guests will be able to visit every corner of the aircraft along with trained guides. There will be a children's corner too.

The damaged nose (right top) and roof (right bottom) of this aircraft will be repaired to house a restaurant. Captain Mostafa owns two such restaurants in the UK (far right). PHOTO: STAR