Let your party take off - in a planeJuly 25th, 2010 - 1:41 pm ICT by IANS
By Anindya Rai Verman
New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) You can party on terra firma and still fly high - in a stationary aircraft! And you can do so right here in Delhi or, for a more exotic experience, head for Neemrana in Rajasthan.
One venue is the sprawling green campus of the School of Aeronautics in Neemrana in Alwar district that has two fully furnished planes.
“We have two fully furnished real 52-seater F-27 Fokker aircraft on the ground with classy interiors in Neemrana to make every party a memorable one, be it a birthday party, corporate party or a wedding event,” said C.C. Ashoka, director of the Laxmi Narain Verma Memorial (LNVM) Society Group of Institutes which runs the school.
“We are even open to film shoots inside the aircraft.”
The LNVM Society runs two other institutes as well, including the School of Aeronautics (Delhi) started in 1992 to meet the demand for quality aviation professionals.
“Our Delhi and Neemrana campuses have some of the best labs in India for training in aircraft maintenance engineering (AME), but it is our Neemrana campus, started in 2008, that actually houses two complete heavy aircraft for practical training - and also partying,” Ashoka told IANS in an interview.
In Delhi itself, the Dwarka campus of the Centre for Civil Aviation Training (CCAT) offers facilities for partying on the ground on an Airbus A300.
The Limca Book of Records recently awarded CCAT a certification, which says: “The Airbus is used to train engineering students and air hostesses, besides being used as a party venue. To give the actual experience of an airplane, even the controls have been left as it is”.
“It is not a commercial service as of now, but we plan to market it during the coming Commonwealth Games,” B.C. Gupta, director of CCAT, told IANS. “Whatever money we make from the parties we donate to temples and other charitable trusts,” Gupta said.
Ashoka said: “The aircraft partying service in Neemrana, a private one, was started only in August 2009. The two Fokker aircraft were dismantled in Mumbai and reassembled here. They are not airworthy but all systems of an operational aircraft like the galley equipment (used for preparing food) and public address system are fully functional in our planes and give the effect of an airworthy aircraft.”
“The partition behind the cockpit can be removed, say for a birthday party. For more elaborate celebrations like a wedding, we have constructed a special stage at the Neemrana campus, and a decorated aircraft can be placed behind the stage as background, while DJs and other artistes can perform on stage,” Ashoka told IANS.
During parties, special effects are in full play. “For elaborate celebrations, the cargo door in the aircraft is kept open, and the entire aircraft is decorated with special lights and flower work, according to the client’s specifications.
“We have tie-ups with professional decorators who ensure that while doing up the aircraft for partying, the interiors look classy, but don’t get spoilt in the process,” he said.
The special effects don’t end there. “Before the host addresses guests inside the aircraft during a party, the special sound system emanates the sonic equivalent of a real take-off. Food is served to guests inside the aircraft like real in-flight services. However, only vegetarian food is served,” Ashoka said.
The charges for partying are down-to-earth.
“For hiring an aircraft with a guest strength of about 50, we have tie-ups with caterers and charge about Rs.200 per plate. We can arrange for DJs for around Rs.6,000, or clients can bring their own DJs.
“For hiring the special stage and the allotted ground space, with the aircraft in the background, charges can be Rs.51,000 for a night,” Ashoka said.
But how did the unique concept of partying on aircraft take shape in the first place? “We had arranged some personal parties, but the idea caught on. Initially, clients in and around Neemrana took interest, but the appeal is growing,” he said.
“From August 2010, we would launch an ad campaign through e-mails, SMSs and other online media to make our unique partying service known to more people. The real advantage is that Neemrana is a world famous tourist spot, offering a splendid view of the Aravalis, and is close to Delhi.
Neemrana is famous for its grand fort-palace and is located almost midway between Delhi and Jaipur.
“It is also a fast growing industrial hub. We are in the process of tying up with travel agents who would bring foreign tourists to party, while on their way to Jaipur or Delhi,” Ashoka said.
(Anindya Rai Verman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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