In what I would categorize under the heading of ‘What are they thinking?’, Turkey has decided in order to revive tourism to a once thriving coastal town, it would make sense to sink an Airbus A300 into the ocean in the hopes that divers would come to visit it. They also claim that it will help build a new reef for fish and corals to make home and would be the largest aircraft ever to be sunk for this purpose. The last point I won’t argue since it’s been proven that artificial reefs can work. What I do wonder is will people now flock to Kusadasi, Turkey to dive the wreck.
What used to be a favorite destination of Russians and Europeans alike, Kusadasi is struggling to stay alive. In fact, according to the RT.com article covering the event, it is suggested that Russian tourism has fallen off by as much as 81% due to sanctions, terrorism and basic distrust of each other. Also noted was the fact that dozens of hotels, restaurants, and shops have been shuttered due to the dramatic drop in tourism. Apparently the dunking of an Airbus is the best idea that the local Chamber of Commerce could come up with!
Back to the sinking of the A300….
The A300 was dismantled in Istanbul and trucked on 5 flatbeds to Kusadasi where cranes helped position the aircraft. With the aid of rafts and divers, it was lowered, complete with wings, into its final resting place 60 feet below the surface of the Aegean Sea. It is now open for business.
To see various tweets and Instagram posts showing the event, click here to be taken to the RT.com story.