FlightGlobal understands that a Boeing BBJ 747-8I formerly used by the Qatari government has been given to Turkey as a gift from the Emir of the Gulf state, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The VVIP airliner, MSN42096, had been put on the market by Swiss-based specialist AMAC Aerospace and was delivered to Ankara on 11 September, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.
The widebody, which features a master state room, a main-deck lounge for 14 passengers, a conference room, guest bedroom, medical room and multiple bathrooms, will bear an as-yet undisclosed Turkish TC-registration.
The aircraft is now believed to be undergoing painting and modification at Turkish Technic's HABOM maintenance, repair and overhaul centre in Istanbul.
Fleets Analyzer lists the BBJ 747-8I – manufactured in 2012 and powered by GE Aviation GEnx-2B engines – as having entered service in early 2015. It bore a Bermuda registration, VQ-BSK and had logged just 200 cycles, covering 436h, to 27 March this year. It operated in the colours of the Qatari state, conducting flights for the emirate's government.
The 747-8I joins Turkey's 12-strong VIP fleet, which comprises an Airbus ACJ340, ACJ330, ACJ318, a pair of ACJ319s, a Bombardier CRJ200, four Gulfstream G550s, a G450 and a GIV.
Boeing says it has delivered 45 BBJ 747s worldwide, of which 11 examples are the -8 variant.
Source: Flight International