personal airplanes of the world’ powerful leaders
The world’s most powerful leaders are frequently photographed waving from the steps of their personal planes. The details of these planes, however, are typically kept under wraps. UK-based aviation specialist and private jet charter company Air Charter Service recently released a global comparative analysis of the aircraft used by leaders around the world, featuring graphics that illustrate the aircraft in detail.
The analysis shows that the aircraft range from the modest to the palatial, with security measures that are often extraordinary. Scroll through the gallery to see how each country measures up.
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and his $1 500 000 000 fleet
Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani owns a spectacular air fleet comprised of at least
14 aircraft. During official trips, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is accompanied by the largest air delegation of any leader in the study. His entourage often exceeds 1,000 family members, members of the delegation and service staff.
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 dollars 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 12,500 kilometres to 15,000 kilometres.
King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s personal airline
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 767-400ER, a Gulfstream G-IV and a Bell 430, all in a VIP configuration. The aircraft are intended for exclusive use by high-ranking government officials and members of the royal family.
Vladimir Putin’s IL-96-300PU
Vladimir Putin’s flagship aircraft is an IL-96-300PU 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.
Donald Trump’s Air Force One
Air Force One is the name of any United States 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, having been in use for over 25 years.
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 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 postwar Chancellor of Germany. The Airbus can accommodate approximately 150 passengers and is outfitted with several bedrooms, showers, offices, and a soundproof room for negotiations.
Former President François Hollande’s Airbus A330-200
Former president François Hollande had a 270 million dollar Airbus A330-200 at his disposal. France’s Airbus features a management centre that allows for real-time command of military troops, and is equipped with a bedroom, a kitchen, a soundproof negotiation room, and a space for accompanying journalists and members of the delegation.
Air Charter Service specializes in government charters for heads of state, cargo charters for humanitarian relief and private jet charters for leisure.