KUANTAN, May 21 (Bernama) -- The father-son’s 'crazy idea' that started three years ago, has resulted in the setting up of an aircraft hotel in a jungle, believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
Kevin Young Thien Sheng, 30, said the plan to turn a Boeing 737-400 aircraft into a hotel expected to be realised early next year, as he recently transported the plane to Sungai Lembing near here.
He said the aircraft was purchased from an airline by his father, Young Yeong Long, 61, as the plane had exceeded the service period and about to be disposed of.
“The hardest task is to bring the plane from Selangor to here. We have to cut it to a few parts, hire five trailers and two cranes to lift the aircraft in early May.
He said two months were spent on planning the ‘journey’ of the aircraft to Sungai Lembing to ensure that the process did not disturb the traffic flow, especially along the Federal Highway.
“The most exciting part was when we were entering the Sungai Lembing area, the news spread so fast and the crowd was queuing along the street to see the plane for themselves ... the atmosphere was so festive, almost like a party,” he said.
However, he declined to reveal the amount spent on the project except saying that it was 'very expensive' besides having to adhere to very strict procedures.
Despite having spent substantial amount of money, he said they might build only five rooms out of the entire 36.57 metres (120 ft) aircraft to ensure maximum comfort for guests and he planned to retain the cockpit area for visitors to have lasting memories.
“Some say it's cheaper and easier if we just construct a plane-shaped building, but I don’t want that as it is not the same compared to using a real aircraft,” said the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology graduate.
“We place this aircraft in the jungle area because we want it to blend with the nature concept for visitors to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city,” he said adding that they also registered the hotel brand with the Malaysia's Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) to protect the its uniqueness.