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​Sultan of Brunei captains private jet to APEC summit in Vietnam

Thursday, November 09, 2017, 20:49 GMT+7

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, has arrived in great style in Vietnam for the upcoming APEC summit on a private jet captained by himself.

Bolkiah’s plane touched down at Da Nang International Airport at around 5:20 pm on Thursday.

The 71-year-old Sultan, who succeeded to the throne in 1967, has been known for flying his own planes on several official trips to foreign countries.

The aircraft – an Airbus A340-212 – reportedly set the Bruneian leader back a total £175 million (US$229.65 million), including £95 million ($124.66 million) in customization, according to Business Insider.

Its makeover included the addition of a luxurious cabin decorated with precious metals, gems, and valuable wood, as well as the installation of additional fuel tanks that increased the jet’s non-stop flight range to 15,000 kilometers.

The plane is nicknamed the ‘Flying Palace’ for its luxury and scale, with reportedly only three other aircraft produced at its size.

An infographic providing the details of the Airbus A340-212 private jet own by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei. Graphic: Air Charter Service
An infographic providing the details of the Airbus A340-212 private jet owned by Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei. Graphic: Air Charter Service

The Bruneian monarch and his family also own a modified Boeing 747-430, a Boeing 767-270, and two Sikorsky S-70 helicopters, according to Business Insider.

In April 2013, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah captained the ‘Flying Palace’ to the Philippines for a two-day state visit.

Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum comprised of 21 Pacific Rim member economies, including Brunei and Vietnam.

The Sultan of Brunei will join 20 other world leaders – including U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – in Da Nang this Saturday at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which is the culmination of Vietnam’s year-long hosting of APEC events.

Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, is pictured sitting inside the cockpit of a private jet that landed in Da Nang on November 9, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, is pictured sitting in the cockpit of a private jet that landed in Da Nang on November 9, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Hassanal Bolkiah (R), the Sultan of Brunei, leaves the aircraft after landing at Da Nang International Airport. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Hassanal Bolkiah (R), the Sultan of Brunei, disembarks from the aircraft after landing at Da Nang International Airport. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, is welcomed by Vietnamese guards of honor after arriving in Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, is welcomed by a Vietnamese guard of honor after arriving in Da Nang. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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