We’re always told that one of the best ways to cut our impact on the environment is to reduce, reuse, recycle. So, when British Airways began retiring its aging fleet of Boeing 747s, one eco-minded events manager saw an opportunity to do their bit and reuse an old plane as an events space.
That’s right, party planners, wedding organizers or anyone else looking for a good time can now rent a retired 747 to host their get together.
Private airfield Cotswold Airport in the south of England purchased the aging British Airways Boeing 747 in October 2020 for just £1 ($1.30). At that time, the plane had been retired from service by British Airways after 26 years in the air.
When it rolled onto the runway for the final time, the plane was decorated in the Negus livery, which British Airways used between 1970 and 1980. It had been repainted in these colors to mark the airline’s centenary.
In the 14 months since the 747 arrived at Cotswold Airport, the economy section of the plane has been stripped out to make space for a plush new events space. The plane’s old galley has also been reworked into a bar, while the cockpit and first class area remain untouched.
The process was overseen by Suzannah Harvey, chief executive of Cotswold Airport, who also personally chose the Negus craft as the perfect plane for the job.
But, despite paying just $1.30 for the retired 747, the costs of preparing it for its new life as an Instagrammer’s paradise have piled up.
According to CNN Travel:
“The makeover has cost nearly £500,000 ($671,000). However, Harvey points out that around £200,000 ($268,000) of that was spent on putting in a new concrete pad, and £80,000 ($107,000) on rewiring costs.”
To recoup some of these costs, renting the space won’t come cheap.
CNN Travel reports that the party plane can be booked out for $1,300 an hour, or for weddings the airport will charge £12,000 ($16,000) for 24-hours. The airport says this will allow for setup and breakdown times.
Despite those sky-high fees, the airport still has one challenge to overcome before it can start renting the plane out to prospective clients.
Harvey told CNN Travel that as the plane’s toilets were designed to work at altitude and under pressure, they don’t function on the ground. So punters will have to make do with “posh loo units” for the next “six months or so.”
And, if retired commercial tech tickles your fancy, you can also hit the open waves in a vintage transportation ship transformed into a luxury yacht.