When traveling on long-haul flights, a key part of the onboard experience for many passengers is the food served onboard. Back when it was a staple of the long-haul scene, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 will have been loaded with all sorts of meals for its passengers to enjoy. Today, one example of the widebody trijet still sees food served onboard, having been preserved as a quirky restaurant in Ghana.
26 years in the skies
The aircraft in question began its life at Thai Airways. According to ATDB.aero, it was built in December 1976, before joining the Bangkok-headquartered carrier in March 1977 under the registration HS-TGD. Just under a decade later, in January 1987, it was re-registered as HS-TMC, but its days at THAI were numbered.
Indeed, in December of that year, it moved to Europe to serve Scandinavian Airlines. The aircraft flew for SAS for just under three years as OY-KDC, before moving back to Asia to serve Malaysia Airlines as 9M-MAW in October 1990. During its time at Malaysia Airlines, the DC-10 was leased out to World Airways and Tunisair.
The aircraft’s final change of ownership came in October 1999, when the long-range DC-10-30 transferred to Ghana Airways. It spent four years flying for the African carrier as 9G-ANB, before returning from service in 2003 after an extensive and varied career that had lasted 26 years. However, its story was not over yet.
A new lease on life
Following the aircraft’s retirement, its future looked far from bright. Indeed, having initially been stored at Kotoka International Airport (ACC) in Accra, Ghana, the 2005 liquidation of Ghana Airways resulted in it being abandoned there.
According to Ghana Web, many of the aircraft’s parts, including its three General Electric engines, were subsequently sold for scrap, rendering the jet a mere shadow of the former twin-aisle flagship it once was. However, a last-minute intervention in 2011, when its aluminum components were being removed for smelting, saved the day. This came from the wife of a Togolese minister.
It was confirmed shortly afterward that the aircraft’s new owners planned to convert it into a restaurant. After moving the remains of the aircraft to the Airport City Accra suburb, the facility eventually had its grand opening, as reported at the time by News Ghana, in November 2013. This came 10 years after its withdrawal.
Photo: Flixtey via Wikimedia Commons
Still active today
Almost a decade later, the restaurant, which is named La Tante, remains a popular culinary establishment to this day. According to the BBC, guests ‘board’ the aircraft via stairs from the ground, as they would have done back in its operational years.
Due to the extra space needed, it can accommodate 118 guests. This is somewhat less than the 276 seats that Ghana Web reports that it had in its flying years, but, with this, far greater comfort is offered. Tables can be booked by phone.
The restaurant’s present menu consists of a wide variety of Ghanaian dishes, as well as smaller plates and sandwiches for visitors seeking lighter meals. Its bar also serves an impressive range of both alcoholic and soft drinks, and, with opening hours of 12:00 until 22:00 every day, there’s plenty of time to enjoy the experience!
Sources: ATDB.aero, BBC, Ghana Web, La Tante DC-10 Restaurant, News Ghana