2018-01-15 13:36:00  + video 

HENAN, Central China  Two old China Eastern Airlines jets are being transformed into a hotel and restaurant by a travel agency in central China.

The aircraft were bought by a Russian businessman after being out of service for over a decade, though they remained at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. They were later acquired by Guzhuang Eco-Tourism Co. Ltd. in 2016 for 8 million yuan ($1.2 million) and towed to the suburbs of Zhumadian, a city in Henan province. The planes are currently under renovation, and their grand opening has tentatively been set for May 1, 2018.

“It will be a five- or six-star luxury hotel,” said Wang Hongmei, the general manager of Guzhuang Eco-Tourism. “Furthermore, we will build a vacation village around the site to attract urbanites interested in exploring nature and breathing the fresh air.” However, when Sixth Tone visited the attraction in December, the Air Quality Index reading was over 380, or hazardous.

Two old airplanes are being converted into a boutique hotel and restaurant in the suburb of Zhumadian, Henan province. By Shi Yangkun/Sixth Tone

According to Wang, her company bought the planes on a whim, hoping they could attract more tourists to her hometown. “When the airliners arrived, huge crowds of people came to see them,” she said.

In addition to the planes becoming tourist attractions, the surrounding area will be converted into a 2,000-square-kilometer eco-park, complete with tree-planting areas, a vegetable garden, and a hot springs resort.

“Nowadays, more and more city kids have no connection with nature,” Wang said. “We hope that this will not only be a tourist area, but also a place for educating people about sustainable agriculture.”

Editor: Doris Wang.

(Header image: Five kids stand on the stairs of an out-of-service airplane in Zhumadian, Henan province, Dec. 29, 2017. Shi Yangkun/SixthTone)