New Delhi — Most people would rather forget the food they ate on a plane, but seconds will be asked for at Hawai Adda.
Nothing is remarkable about this small restaurant, located in the city of Ludhiana in northern India, except for the fact that it is set in a recycled Airbus 320 that once flew for Air India. Opened last month and taking over a year to complete, the name literally translates to ‘airport’ in Hindi.
According to Mashable, Parampreet Singh Luthra, director of New Delhi-based Hands Hospitality and the innovator of Hawai Adda, got the idea from the Maharaja Express, a gourmet food and travel experience inside a train in New Delhi. Luthra wanted to retain as many of the aircraft’s original parts as possible – including its one million wires – so he hired experienced engineers and airline support staff at the start.
A smooth takeoff wasn’t in the cards, however, with a few hiccups reported in late 2015. According to Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, the project ran into trouble for disregarding fire safety norms, while another report claimed the airplane’s wings were too close to Ludhiana-Ferozepur national highway, a potential traffic hazard. Still, Luthra denies these issues ever occurred and was given the go-ahead from the government.
Serving pure vegetarian food, Hawai Adda seats 72 guests with an additional café, bakery and a kitty hall seating 40 more people. All original elements of the plane were kept, excluding the furniture. It is now considered India’s first airplane restaurant, adding to the country’s long list of unique eateries that also includes a jail-themed restaurant in Chennai, and another resembling a cable car in Bangalore.