Singapore Airlines Transforms Grounded Planes Into Pop-Up Restaurants

The virus pandemic and the resulting plunge in air travel have caused airlines to park fleets of planes on tarmacs across major airports worldwide. Airlines are losing billions of dollars per quarter as planes sit dormant. Still, fast-thinking Singapore Airlines is transforming two double-decker Airbus A380s, the world's largest passenger aircraft, into pop-up restaurants, Bloomberg reports. 

Singapore Airlines sold out of restaurants seats on the two A380s on Monday, within 30 minutes of listing the restaurant offers online, which is a novel way for the struggling airline to raise money while its jets are parked. The temporary restaurants will only be open from Oct. 24-25. 

Meal ranges cost anywhere from $474 for a business class meal to $39 for an economy class experience. Around half the planes' seats will be available for dining to allow for social distancing. 

Vice President of Commercial Operations Lee Lik Hsin said the airline will study the waitlist and see how it can "potentially accommodate some of those who are still interested in this unique dining experience." 

Singapore Airlines suffered a record $827 million net loss in the third quarter of 2020 and is laying off 20% of its workforce. The airline has already burned through half of the $6.4 billion of cash it raised via the equity market earlier in the summer. 

With hundreds of flights grounded worldwide, the financially battered airline is attempting to raise cash in an unorthodox means as passenger traffic worldwide is not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2024.