A former British Airways jumbo jet which was bought for £1 has been transformed into a “party plane”.
The Boeing 747 was purchased by Cotswold Airport chief executive Suzannah Harvey in 2020, after BA decided to retire the aircraft from its fleet.
Since then, she and a group of volunteers have given the plane a new lease of life, turning it into a luxury events space complete with bar, which can be hired out for parties and private functions.
“I paid a pound for her, and we have a certain obligation to maintain it as is practical for public use,” said Harvey.
“The company has had to spend nearly £500,000 getting her prepped and ready here, but I think it's money well spent and it preserves her for future generations.”
After a thorough cleaning, the iconic 747 aircraft was stripped of its economy seating to make room for the events space – complete with custom lighting – while the galley is now a bar.
Having purchased the plane in October 2020, Harvey was optimistic the venue would be ready by Easter 2021, but the refurbishment took longer than anticipated.
“It's been a long old slog,” she said, adding that they’ve had “such tremendous support from everybody.
“All the contractors, all the people that have volunteered who are current BA 747 engineers – and here we are finally. She's ready and she's good to go.”
The unique space doesn’t come cheap, with hire costing £1,000 an hour.
However, since launching, the party plane has attracted numerous enquiries, according to Harvey – including from Netflix.
“The vision has finally come to fruition,” she said.
The jet had been part of BA’s fleet for more than 25 years, having been purchased by the airline in 1994.
In that time it flew 13,398 flights, totalling nearly 60 million miles.
Its last commercial operation landed at London Heathrow, having flown from Miami, Florida, on 6 April 2020.
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