It would appear that the close ties between Qatar and Turkey may have been strengthened, as the Emir of Qatar seeks a new circle of international friends as some of the other Arab countries have turned away from him in view of his close ties with Iran. As we reported recently on Royal Central about an announcement of an investment programme in Germany that had come hot on the heels of talks with Turkey, announcements this week from Turkey indicate the Emir has gifted the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a Boeing 747-8 executive jet.
The Boeing 747-8 reputedly the world’s most expensive, and largest, executive jet at around US$367million flew from France into the Sahiba Gokchen International Airport near Istanbul. Before the gift by Emir Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the aircraft had been part of the Qatar Amiri Flight, a private VIP airline which serves the flying needs of the Gulf Kingdom’s Royal Family and Senior Government officials. The plane can take 94 people including a crew of sixteen, serving the various staterooms, first class seating areas and boardrooms throughout the aircraft which even has its own hospital.
The aircraft was one of two Boeing 747-8’s operated by the Amiri Flight, though it is understood they do have another jet currently on order, and there may be another plane which is purely for the use of the Emir. In addition to these planes, this variant known as the 747-8 BBJ has been ordered purchased by Kuwait, Oman, Brunei and Morocco. Hence, President Erdogan will be moving in exclusive circles with his, though he may not be the only President with one for long! It is understood that in February of this year a US$3.9 billion contract was signed for two aircraft to replace Air Force One following three years of negotiations. President Trump being keen that an American President should fly around in a plane built in America.