Feeling Rudderless in Kuta

Half a plane, plonked on the rooftop of a bar in Kuta.
Half a plane, plonked on the rooftop of a bar in Kuta.

Repurposing the husks of decommissioned aircraft as decorative flair for local businesses seems to be something of a phenomenon in Bali – A couple seem to have been acquired with the hopes of transforming them into quirky restaurants (so far neither of the planned eateries has materialised), and whilst in Kuta, I spotted this lone tail section from an old DC-10 poking above the nearby buildings after finishing lunch at the excellent Xich Lo Warung just down the street, and curiosity piqued, I made my way over to get a closer look.

Going by the registration, this aircraft was first purchased by the long-defunct British Caledonian airline, before ending up being used as a freighter for Zimbabwe based Avient who eventually met a similar fate (and whose marque currently graces the tail-fin), before being scrapped in 2010 and halved shortly after.

Construction of the space was still ongoing as one of the workers informed myself and my companion, and so we weren’t allowed a closer look, but it would go on to become ‘Gate 88’ – a nightclub in which the severed plane would serve as the main bar.

Hopefully they left the sick bags on-board.

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