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 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 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, disembarks from the aircraft after landing at Da Nang International Airport. 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|