Grounded by COVID, Nigerian diners get a taste of air travel

Missing the thrill of air travel during the coronavirus lockdown? A Nigerian restaurant is now offering its customers the illusion of flight without them ever having to leave the ground.

The diners at Urban Air in the Nigerian capital Abuja sit on plush white seats and peruse a flight-themed cocktail menu beside windows illustrated with blue skies and puffy white clouds.

Some customers take selfies as the staff leaves the ‘cockpit’ to serve them.

“The environment is really amazing considering this corona stuff,” said IT worker Fatima Garba during her second visit.

“It’s been a while since we’ve all got to sit inside of an airplane and this just reminds us of that.”

Nigeria has suspended all international commercial flights since late March. It also curtailed domestic flights for several months, though they have since resumed.

Restaurant owner Ugo Young said even his partner, who is also head chef, had questioned whether a flight-themed restaurant would work. Undaunted, Young spent more than 10 million nairas ($26,281) converting the space to look just like an airplane.

Since opening on August 15, it has served roughly 100 adventure-hungry Nigerians each day.

(c) Reuters


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