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ANA 'passengers' savor $540 first-class dining -- on parked plane

Japanese airline offers 'restaurant with wings' as pandemic curbs travel

A first-class seat with a meal costs $540. (Photo courtesy of ANA)

TOKYO -- All Nippon Airways looks to sate the curiosity of those who wish to dine in the first-class cabin, debuting a service that raises revenue even while the planes remain grounded during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese carrier welcomed "passengers" on board for a special dining experience Wednesday, serving meals typically offered on international flights.

On the first day of the new service, 56 guests boarded an idle plane at Haneda Airport in Tokyo for lunch on the ground. A first-class seat with a meal costs 59,800 yen ($541), while the offering's business-class counterpart runs 29,800 yen. Customers choose in advance from three food options: Japanese-style, Western-style beef or Western-style fish.

"The business class was drastically different from the economy class in terms of both food and the seat," said a 14-year-old guest who had lunch with his father. "It was so spacious, and the seat was like a bed when reclined."

ANA dubs the experience a "restaurant with wings."

"We designed this service so that customers can feel the ambience of the first and business class cabins with all the five senses," said the manager of the new project. The idea was conceived by employees who wanted to make use of parked aircraft amid coronavirus travel restrictions.

The ANA Holdings unit will offer 22 lunch and dinner sessions in April, each lasting about three hours. No in-flight entertainment is available, but guests receive amenity kits and can use ANA's lounge at Haneda's domestic terminal.

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