Monday, February 16, 2009
Jumbo Hostel - World’s First Jumbo Hostel - World’s First Airplane Hotel , Sweden Hotel , Sweden
Under a Swedish company called Transjet Airways, the aircraft carried Muslims in their pilgrimage to the holiest city, Mecca, and was also used for charter flights around the world. But when in 2002 serious "organizational problems" were discovered, the airplane was immediately grounded on one of the runways at Arlanda Airport, the largest international airport in Sweden, north of Stockholm. When Oscar Dios heard the rumor about a Boeing 747-200's "corpse" all buried in oblivion, he came up with the magnificent idea of acquiring the 747 and converting it into a low-cost hostel.
"I was getting ready to expand my hotel business in 2006 when I heard about an old wreck of an aircraft for sale at Arlanda. Since I had for a long time wanted to establish my business at Arlanda, I didn't hesitate for a second when this opportunity struck", said Oscar Dios about his first thoughts concerning the acquisition.
Although some of you would raise an eyebrow on hearing such a hard-to-believe story, the entrepreneur proved to be a fine connoisseur of the business he was running at the time (the Uppsala Vandrarhem och Hotell, a small hostel in Uppsala). After not very elaborate calculations, he concluded: it was less expensive for him to acquire a dead Jumbo than to find a terrain near a busy airport like Arlanda and then build an entire hotel from scratch.
At first, he had to convince authorities to approve the plan he drawn up and to grant him the necessary permissions. In spite of his daring plan, which implied placing the aircraft at the entrance of the airport itself, on top of a concrete foundation, having the landing gear tied to two steel cradles, he got his OK.
Surprisingly or not, the hard part of the story was still ahead. Before installing a few beds, providing clean lines and preparing the cafeteria to become functional, the 747 had to be completely dismantled and sanitized. This is when the interior could be insulated, divided in 25 rooms and completely rewired. Moreover, there were necessary new plumbing, bathrooms, sanitation and, because of the fixed windows, another climate control system.