Washington - Just what everyone thinks when they're digging into an airline meal: Man, I wish I could order this even when I'm not flying.
At least that's how AirAsia, a low-cost carrier based in Malaysia, hopes its customers feel. Last week, the airline opened the first restaurant inspired by its in-flight food offerings at a mall in Kuala Lumpur. Executives have ambitious plans for expansion, with a goal of opening five owned restaurants and 100 operated by franchisees "in global markets" in the next three to five years.
"Our dream is to have one in Times Square," AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes told Reuters.
The restaurant, Santan, is named after coconut milk in Malaysia; that is also the name of the airline's in-flight menu brand. It opened in conjunction with T&Co, a cafe. Catherine Goh, general manager of Santan and T&Co, told Reuters that 30 percent of the restaurant menu comes from the menu that is served in the air.