British expatriates based in France have set a new takeaway trend for Indian food by chartering a flight to deliver their curry from the UK.
The flight, dubbed "Curry Air" by local media, will deliver popular dishes from the Akash Tandoori Restaurant in Portsmouth at a charge of around 36 euros per head to Bordeaux on Saturday.
Curry Air is booked to take off from Lee-on-Solent airfield on the south coast of England with Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Balti, Bengal Naga Chicken and Vegetable Paneer Korai, alongside rice and naan.
The six-seater aircraft is scheduled to land at Bordeaux Saucats airfield in the middle of the region's vineyards, where the 50-strong group of British expats and their French friends will dine in a hangar, Portsmouth's The News reported.
"Although there are some Indian restaurants in France, the quality of food is nowhere near as good as in England. And this is partly because French people, in the main, are not fond of spicy dishes," explains Roy Buchan, a regular at the Akash restaurant.
He had hit headlines in 2014 when he took curry worth 100 pounds back to Normandy in northern France for his Christmas lunch.
He triggered his latest French takeaway trend by posting an invitation on Facebook along with James Emery, an English expat and pilot who helped put the idea into practice.
"I have been a loyal customer of the Akash for close to 20 years. Every time I popped in for a meal, I would complain about the bland and uninspiring version of Indian food we get in France," Emery said.
Faz Ahmed, the restaurant's manager, said they had overcome significant obstacles to make the takeaway a reality.
"We were initially concerned this idea would not become a reality. But, now I am confident it will be pulled off and cannot wait to see the outcome," Ahmed said.
With James's help, the restaurant was able to contact Iroise Aero Formation, a professional flying school based in Brest, which agreed to provide the use of the TBM700 aircraft.
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