World lead­ers rule the skies

Middle East Business (English) - - FRONT PAGE -

The world’s most pow­er­ful lead­ers are fre­quently pho­tographed wav­ing from the steps of their per­sonal planes. The de­tails of these planes are typ­i­cally kept un­der wraps. Avi­a­tion spe­cial­ist and pri­vate jet char­ter com­pany, Air Char­ter Ser­vice, re­cently re­leased some anal­y­sis of the air­craft used by world lead­ers, fea­tur­ing graph­ics that il­lus­trate the air­craft in de­tail.

Anal­y­sis shows that the air­craft range from the mod­est to the pala­tial - here is a se­lec­tion:

Has­sanal Bolkiah's “Fly­ing Palace”

Sul­tan of Brunei Has­sanal Bolkiah owns a pri­vate jet so lav­ish it’s of­ten called the “Fly­ing Palace.” $120 mil­lion was spent out­fit­ting in­te­rior of the Air­bus A340 -212 with pre­cious met­als and gems, and in­stalling ad­di­tional fuel tanks that in­creased the flight range from 12,500km to 15,000km.

King Ha­mad bin Isa Al Khal­ifa of Bahrain's fleet of air­craft

The King of Bahrain has the en­tire Bahrain Royal Flight air­line at his dis­posal. The fleet con­sists of six air­craft: a Boe­ing Busi­ness Jet BBJ2, two Boe­ing 747- 400s, a Boe­ing 767- 400 ER, a Gulf­stream G-IV and a Bell 430, all in a VIP con­fig­u­ra­tion. The air­craft are in­tended for ex­clu­sive use by high­rank­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and mem­bers of the royal fam­ily. Vladimir Putin’s IL-96300-PU

Vladimir Putin’s flag­ship air­craft is an IL-96300-PU out­fit­ted with an ad­vanced com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem that can com­mand mil­i­tary troops.

The pres­i­den­tial fleet in­cludes four iden­ti­cal planes, all of which are read­ied for every de­par­ture for se­cu­rity pur­poses. The spe­cific plane is not known un­til take-off. Once Putin boards, ei­ther one or all of the re­main­ing air­planes fol­low the pres­i­dent as the re­serve.

United States' Air Force One

Air Force One is the name of any US Air Force air­craft car­ry­ing the Pres­i­dent of the United States at any time. Don­ald Trump re­lies pri­mar­ily on two iden­ti­cal, heav­ily-mod­i­fied Boe­ing 747- 200B mod­els. These planes are the old­est in the study. Typ­i­cally, the Pres­i­dent flies in mil­i­tary air­craft that are un­der the com­mand of the Pres­i­den­tial Air­lift Group, which in­cludes Air Force One, Marine One (usu­ally Nighthawk or Siko­rsky he­li­copters), Navy One (any US navy air­craft), Army One (any US Army air­craft) and oth­ers. Be­fore be­com­ing pres­i­dent, Don­ald Trump also had his own Trump fleet of air­planes and he­li­copters in­clud­ing a lux­u­ri­ous Boe­ing 757- 200, a jet and two he­li­copters. Rather than cater­ing for its usual 228 pas­sen­gers, it has been re­con­fig­ured to trans­port 43 in ul­ti­mate com­fort with a din­ing room, big screen TVs, mas­ter and guest be­d­rooms, and even a shower.

Xi Jin­ping and Air China's Boe­ing 747- 400

The most mod­est leader in the study, the Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Xi Jin­ping does not own a per­sonal air­craft. In­stead, he uses two Boe­ing 747- 400s that are the prop­erty of Air China. Prior to use, many of the cabin’s seats are dis­man­tled and re­placed with a spa­cious liv­ing room, a bed­room, and an of­fice.

An­gela Merkel and her 'Kon­rad Ade­nauer'

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor, An­gela Merkel, has a fleet of air­craft at her dis­posal. The most fa­mous of the fleet is an Air­bus A340- 313X VIP, nick­named the “Kon­rad Ade­nauer” af­ter the first post-war Chan­cel­lor of Ger­many. The Air­bus can ac­com­mo­date ap­prox­i­mately 150 pas­sen­gers and is out­fit­ted with sev­eral be­d­rooms, show­ers, of­fices, and a sound­proof room for ne­go­ti­a­tions. To read more, visit: http://www.air­char­ter­ about-us/news-fea­tures/blog/ pri­vate-jets-of-world-lead­ers-putin-trump-xi-jin­ping

To read more about Avi­a­tion in the Mid­dle East and watch the video

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