A Qatar Royal Family 747-8 Is For Sale!

Filed Under: Qatar

The royal family of Qatar has quite a fleet of planes, known as the Qatar Amiri fleet. Altogether they have over a dozen planes, including two Boeing 747-8s in a business jet configuration. You’ll often see these parked at major global airports (especially those in cities with good shopping), including LAX and LHR.

While the royal family has two 747-8s, it looks like they’re now trying to sell one of them. Aircraft sales sites have a listing for a 747-8 in a business jet configuration. Specifically this is the 747-8 with the tail number VQ-BSK, which was delivered in December 2012, then the interior was completed in December 2014, and the aircraft finally entered service in January 2015.

Image courtesy of BriYYZ

The above is what the plane used to look like, though it looks like they’ve already stripped the plane of the old livery, and it’s now in a generic all white paint scheme.

According to the listing, the plane has just 436 hours of flying time and 200 cycles (roughly equal to the number of flights it has operated), which isn’t a lot at all.

The plane has seating for just 76 passengers and 18 crew, so that’s only a small fraction of the number of seats you’d see on the commercial version of the plane.

Here are some interior pictures from the aircraft listing:

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t turn down a ride in this plane, but is this really the best decor they could come up with in 2015? This looks more 80s-Arabian-chic-meets-the-Love-Boat to me than anything else.

I’m sure we’re all dying to know how much the plane is on sale for. The normal list price for a 747-8 is close to $400 million, and I imagine this one was way more expensive, given the custom configuration. Unfortunately they’re not listing the sale price, but rather you have to contact them to find out (and I doubt they’ll just give anyone a quote).

It’s also not clear why the royal family is selling the plane. Are they deciding to cut back to be more financially responsible given the Gulf blockade, or something else? Regardless, I imagine they’re going to take a huge loss on this, and I’m also curious what kind of a buyer they expect to find for this plane.

The Sultan of Brunei has “only” one 747-8 in his fleet, so maybe he needs a second one, just in case?

Something tells me this plane may sit on the market for quite a while. If any Nigerian princes want to advance me an inheritance of several hundred million dollars, I think I know how I’d spend it!

(Tip of the hat to Woodrow)

  1. “This looks more 80s-Arabian-chic-meets-the-Love-Boat to me than anything else” and “nothing says $36 like a maraschino cherry” are my two favorite quotes of 2018. The latter is what a blogger had to say in support of his assertion of why one shouldn’t waste $36 on a Singapore Sling.

  2. I guess if it hasn’t flown that much it’s just not needed.
    I’ve never seen it (and I’ve lived in Qatar for more than six years!)
    Their other 747 has the traditional Qatar airways livery and that gets used for all royal visits. I have seen this one many times.

  3. I find that the most expensive homes, yachts, RVs, and planes tend to have ridiculous and garish interior design.

    It’s almost as though having good taste in design and a desire for conspicuous consumption are mutually exclusive.

  4. Ben, there is a specific reason it’s designed this way. Flights taken by heads of state, just don’t carry the head of state they also carry the press, bureaucrats and other secretarial staff. So you need to have different classes in such an airline as well.

  5. that’s a lot of lapis!

    I wonder what the operating costs are. Maybe Baltia will buy it and retrofit the interior.

    That ’79 SP is only $9.5m

  6. Maybe the U.S. can buy it for the new AF1 and save the taxpayers some $$. At least the decor might suit the style of the current president.

  7. According to the listing, location is “Switzerland”, but the in-flight maps in the pictures suggest that the plane is parked @ BOH.

  8. @ Billiken: The Qatari Emir and Trump family are not friends. Donald Trump and Jared Kushner approached Qatar for loans in exchange for access but were declined. In return, Trump stoked the conflict between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and sided with Riyadh in boycotting Doha. No US banks want to loan money to Trump is a deadbeat and excessively litigious.

  9. If I’m right this aircraft was regularly parked at U.K. airports including Birmingham while the Emir’s daughter was studying in 2016, and frequently went home and to Zurich for shopping. Maybe she’s finished and it’s no longer needed?

  10. I once saw a 747-8 in full Qatar Airways livery at LAX. Confused me quite a lot, until I found on Google that it is a government plane.

  11. The Qatar 787-8 in the QR livery is ALWAYS at LAX. How much “shopping” can one do?…or are they trafficking children as one person put it? Just odd!!!!!.

  12. BILLIKEN AND GLOBETROTTER= LIBERAL IDIOTS!!! You do not get it!!!You always seem to make it all about POLITICS !!I I understand u wanted Hillary and BILL and MORE TAXES/MORE GOVERNMENT/MORE REGULATIONS AND MORE WELFARE nuts

  13. i actually love the decor…super fancy. i’d love to own a plane like this, 15 hour flights on it probably don’t feel like anything!!

  14. I saw the plane parked at Sky Harbor in Phoenix for almost a week about two years ago. I heard that one of the royal family members was in Scottsdale for treatment at the Mayo clinic.

    I was fortunate to see it take off when I was driving past the airport a couple of days later.

  15. I’m most impressed that this plane can hover!

    Look at the all-white livery. No front landing gear. Amazing!

  16. Nice Arabic brothel, how on God’s Green earth did anyone think that looks good?

    Only worse example of large Biz jet I have seen pictures of was a late 90 Russian owned Boeing BBJ.

    Good luck on selling it, will probably require a steep discount on $400M. Not much of market for planes this big in the first place and certainly not with that interior.

  17. That is hilarious @Quest Fanning.

    “estimates it could be sold for as much as £500,000,000.

    Potential buyers are instructed to ring AMAC Aerospace in Switzerland if they want to make an offer.”

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