China’s recycling industry reached new heights this month when news emerged that a businessman in Henan had bought two retired passenger jets with a goal of turning them into a hotel and restaurant. According to website Shanghaiist the individual paid Rmb8 million ($1.2 million) for the two planes that had been once formed part of China Eastern’s fleet and were stored in a field outside of the Henanese city of Zhumadian. The entrepreneur reckons the converted aircraft will draw tourists looking for some novelty value: the planes are a pair of BAE-146s which are a rare sight in global airline fleets these days (British Aerospace stopped making them in 2002; only 387 were ever made). That said, this is not the first time such a conversion has occurred – last year a Boeing 737 was converted into a restaurant and parked in a pedestrianised area of Wuhan. A meal at the Lily Airways restaurant costs about Rmb200-300 says Shanghaiist, with patrons having the option to fly a flight simulator in the cockpit.
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