An Etihad aircraft that ferried passengers from Abu Dhabi to destinations has been transformed into holiday rental in United Kingdom, North Wales.
Campground operator, Toby Rhys-Davies spent US$ 56,000 (Dh205,000) in transforming the airbus from a scrapyard into a holiday home for four, charging $143 a night.
The rear section of the plane consists of a kitchen, overhead luggage compartments, windows and emergency exits. The livery has also been retained, with ‘Etihad’ mentioned across the sides. The seats have been stripped out for beds, chairs and a hot shower.
Part of the Etihad aircraft has been converted into a barbecue area. Rhys-Davies has branded the experience “Arabian Nights” and has planted palm trees around the fuselage to pay tribute to its UAE heritage.
He said: “It has been in UAE and has an identity. It is in very good nick and the livery is absolutely worth keeping. So I thought let’s run with that.”
Etihad decommissioned this Airbus A319 plane in 2017 and it ended up in a scrapyard in Wales where Rhys-Davies bought it in May, 2019.
“The front was three times the price even though the cockpit had nothing in it. It did not have seats, it did not have glass and it didn’t have dials. But the back of the plane had two toilets and a full kitchen. I said, right, let’s do something with this.”: he added.
A 10.6-metre section provides accommodation while the smaller 3.6-metre section has been reconditioned as a quirky barbecue area. After it was craned into the site, workers installed double-glazed windows and a door while a steel frame steadied the jet. Wooden decking was also added outside.
“Every tradesman wanted to be involved because it was so oddball. They wanted to say they worked on converting an Airbus,” said Rhys-Davies.
He is also being inundated by aircrews and aviation enthusiasts who want to stay a night in the plane.
“We have a huge amount of them staying. And I’ve even had an inquiry from someone who flew on the plane because he likes to keep track of all the planes he has flown on. Don’t they have enough of it?” he said with a chuckle.