Second chance for planes

The three abandoned Boeing 747 at the Senai International Airport. –filepic

JOHOR BARU: Fancy dining in a Boeing 747 or having a family vacation in one?.

It might be possible, says an aviation official who is offering a solution to the three Boeing 747 aircraft which had been “abandoned” at the Senai International Airport and are up for auction.

“These are huge aircraft which can seat between 300 and 400 people on two levels.

“The buyer can remove the wings and convert them into business premises.

“Dismantling the planes will be a huge task though," said the aviation official in an interview.

They could also be salvaged for spare parts, including the engines, avionics and landing gear.

“Singapore stopped using this aircraft several years ago as has Malaysia Airlines as they are no longer economical and expensive to maintain," said the official.

However, he said the parts could still fetch a good price as there are still some 747s in use in Malaysia by a chartered flight company.

The official said that a 727 was scrapped at Senai airport many years ago and they had to use cranes to cut the plane up into several pieces before transporting them on lorries. The entire operation took about a month.

The official added that scrap dealers might also want the three aircraft for their aluminium.

The Star had earlier reported that three Boeing 747 aircraft, belonging to an American-based company, were “abandoned” at Senai International Airport.

The jumbo jets had been brought to Johor as part of its aviation venture in this region.

However, it never took off and the two cargo and one commercial planes were left idle at the airport for about 10 years.

The aircraft, worth about US$30mil (RM120mil) each previously, are now covered in dirt and soot.

It is learnt that the owner of the planes owes Senai airport more than RM1mil in parking charges.

A posting on Facebook revealed that the planes are being offered for sale at RM5.3mil each.

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