Flight of fancy: Chinese businessman plans to convert disused jets into hotel, restaurant

Public invited to visit former China Eastern planes that have been sitting in a farmer’s field for about a year

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 2:38pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 October, 2017, 9:45pm

A businessman in central China is planning to convert two disused airliners into a hotel and restaurant, according to a video site.

The two four-engine jets were standing in a farmer’s field in Zhumadian, Henan province, but their unnamed owner had big plans for them, Pearvideo.com reported on Saturday.

In a video published on the site, a woman speaking on behalf of the owner said the aircraft would be transformed into a tourist attraction for the region. She did not give any details apart from saying they would become a hotel and restaurant.

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The two jets were once part of China Eastern Airlines’ fleet and were bought for 4 million yuan (US$610,000) apiece, the report said, adding that they have already been sitting in the field for about a year.

While their shells remain intact, the woman said that anything valuable from their interiors had been stripped out in Shanghai before they were moved to Henan.

Zhumadian is in the south of the province and is a well-established tourism destination due to its good transport links to many other cities. The report did not say if the development project was being supported by the local authorities or whether it was a purely private affair.

But the owner’s representative did say members of the public were free to visit the aircraft in their present state.

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On social media, people were mostly unimpressed.

“Did the man also buy the farmland? Isn’t he illegally occupying the field?” one person said on Weibo.

“I can’t understand what these rich people are thinking. If they have so much money why don’t they build schools instead?” another said.