Kitengela still holds the forte as the number one entertainment spot for party lovers. Entrepreneurs have to come up with ingenious ways of attracting and maintaining the ever jumpy and demanding revellers. The proprietor of Club 034, Emmanuel Ngetich, set the bar high when he bought a grounded Boeing 720 airplane and turned it into one of a kind club in the country.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
Establishing Club 034
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Emmanuel Ngetich, a businessman, came up with an idea of setting up a club in the innards of a plane in early 2020. He bought a grounded plane from Kenya Airways (KQ) which had remained parked at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for several years. The plane which is more than 56 years old was then transported in a contingent of police outriders to its final destination in Kitengela. While speaking to the Standard, Ngetich revealed that the decision to buy out the plane was inspired by a trip he took to Thailand.
“Kenya Airways offered the bid and I decided to try out hoping to purchase the plane for what would look like a crazy idea. My decision to establish the restaurant was inspired by a tour to Bangkok some few years ago. I was mesmerized to see this entertainment and shopping hub that has been designed around a grounded Lockheed TriStar at Chang Chui”, he told the Standard.
This TrisStar is a genuine one, a jet that had been flying for Thai Sky Airlines before it was grounded in Don Mueang where it ‘was rescued’ as it was waiting to be scrapped to Chang Chui, its current location. Right now, it has been named Na-Oh, a daily ‘grounded flight’ that is whisking passengers off on culinary adventures and pleasures,” Ngetich added.
When he heard of the KQ bid, it triggered the unforgettable memories of his experience in Bangkok and he decided to buy out the plane in a bid to change the entertainment scene in the country. He bought the plane at Ksh 1 million shillings but used more than that amount to transport it for over 25 kilometers to its final destination in Kitengela.
During an exclusive interview on K24 Television, Flash Mwatha, the engineer who designed the restaurant revealed that it cost between Ksh 6 million and Ksh 8 million.
“We are talking at around 6 to 8 million so that it can be fully complete. This involves the transportation of the aircraft from JKIA to here which was not easy and refurbishment of the plane which involves putting new seats, painting and creating a good atmosphere for visitors to enjoy,” he explained.
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Inside Air 034
Dubbed as the pride of Kajiado County, the plane is able to accommodate up to 100 clients. It has the VVIP section in the cockpit, VIP section in the business class and the regular section in the economy. In the entrance has a red carpet that welcomes you inside the luxurious-one of a kind club. On the outside is an airport experience with tents and chairs where visitors can sit on the ‘runway’ as they await board the plane. Food will be prepared in the normal plane kitchen and served by waitresses dressed as air hostess to give you that on board feeling.
Strategically located just 3 kilometres away from Kitengela town along the Nairobi – Namanga highway, the facility attracts different people from children, teenagers and adults. It offers one of the best nyama choma in town and adults can enjoy a bottle of their favorite whiskey or beer at the facility.
Opening its doors
Air 034 has opened its doors to revellers.