The Emir of Qatar Just Gifted Turkey His $500 Million Mega-Luxury 747

Sep 14, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If you are a small nation engaged in a diplomatic row with large and powerful neighbors, you want to keep whatever friends you have as close as possible. And one way to make your friends happy is to give them expensive gifts. If you are the Emir of Qatar, ruler of one of the wealthiest states in the world, those gifts can be really expensive.

Like, say, the largest and most luxurious private jet in the sky.

After Qatar’s royal family put up one of its two 747-8 VIP planes for sale a few weeks ago, it has now decided to give it as a gift to the government of Turkey, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reports, citing Turkish media.

Turkey has been at the side of Qatar, including by sending troops, in the crisis that pits it against a group of other Gulf and Arab states led by Saudi Arabia. With few nations aligned with Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani certainly appreciates the presence at his side of a regional power like Turkey. So he has been helping Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who presides over an economy in grave crisis, with investments — and now also by giving him an airplane that instantly vaults Erdogan into (shared) top place for world leader with the most tricked-out ride.

The aircraft was delivered to Qatar in 2012 but didn’t enter service until 2015 because of extensive interior upgrades. It didn’t have an asking price when it was on sale recently, but one can safely assume it’s worth about half a billion dollars. Billion with a B.

The aircraft is certified to sit 467 passengers but only includes 76 passenger seats and 18 more for crew. The over-the-top interior looks like a luxury hotel — featuring seven bedrooms and two boardrooms.

There are multiple lounges onboard, including one on the upper deck:

Not that Erdoğan was exactly hurting for flashy transportation before the Emir handed him a 747: Turkey’s dozen-strong state fleet includes an Airbus A340-500 VIP, for example, far bigger than the presidential jets of any European nation. That aircraft has an interesting history of its own — it was once owned by ousted Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and then purchased by Turkey for $78 million in 2016.

The Stockholm Center for Freedom says that the gift was given to demonstrate the Emir’s “love for Erdoğan and trust for Turkey,” although it is unclear who the source was for that claim.

A deputy for Turkey’s main opposition party, Gamze Taşçıer, criticized the plane as hypocritical when the Turkish government is dealing with a financial crisis of its own.

“The presidential palace calls on the people of Turkey to save on almost daily basis. But the same people who call for belt-tightening measures cannot give up on luxury and ostentation,” Taşçıer said. And while the plane itself is a gift, flying it will be on Turkish taxpayers — at a rate of about $180,000 per hour, going by the cost to the US Air Force of flying the American president’s similar 747.     

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.