Picture: Former Sultan of Brunei's unique A340-8000 derivative destined for Saudi Arabian VIP after nine years storage

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The one and only Airbus "A340-8000" originally destined for the Sultan of Brunei's brother has been acquired by Saudi Arabian VIP as it updates its widebody fleet, according to Flight's ACAS database.

The A340-213, line number 204, delivered to Brunei-based HM the Sultan's Flight in November 1998, never entered service and has been parked unfitted at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg.

The four-engined ultra-long-range derivative of the A340-200 is one of a kind after Airbus later opted to concentrate on the ultra-long-range A340-500, which in airline configuration can carry 313 passengers over 15,750km (8,500nm).

The -8000, launched in 1995, features the 275t maximum take-off weight of the high gross weight A340-300, and auxiliary fuel tanks providing a range of 14,800km with 239 passengers.

Saudi Arabian VIP currently operates 23 VIP aircraft, from Lockheed C-130s to Boeing 747s for the exclusive use of the Saudi royal family. It is selling its two Lockheed L1011-500s to the US Sands Casino Group.

 
© Stefan Kunert   

The A340-8000 has been parked for years at Lufthansa Technik