Muammar Gaddafi jet Airbus A340-200 is still one of the most luxurious presidential jets in the world, even though it has just been gathering dust on a French airfield for nearly a decade.
Gaddafi was undoubtedly the most flamboyant head of state in the world, he attracted global media attention because of his exuberance, confidence and stylishness.
The former Libyan strongman was ultimately deposed during the 2010-2012 Arab Spring which saw anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low standard of living, starting with protests in Tunisia.
Gaddafi was killed on 20 October 2011 in Sirte while fleeing the chaos in the capital Tripoli which was overran by rebel forces.
Rebel forces that captured Tripoli fired several bullets at the presidential jet, but the interior was still intact.
The transition government that took over after Gaddafi’s overthrowal decided fly the presidential jet to France for repairs in 2012.
The plane has been gathering dust on an airfield in Perpignan, in south of France since 2012 to date, as rival government factions – one controlling from Benghazi and the other from Tripoli, fight over full control of Libya.
Gaddafi’s A340 remained airworthy though it has not been flown for nearly a decade. Lawsuits and controversies have also bedeviled the Libyan presidential jet since the fall of the former strongman.
The Libyan presidential jet remains almost intact like the way it was during its heydays serving as Gaddafi’s flying palace.
The luxurious presidential plane has a hot tub, a private cinema, a deluxe mirror-lined master bedroom and much more.
Although on the outside it looked like just another airliner of Libya’s flag carrier, Gaddafi’s very own flying palace was an extravagantly fitted aircraft which provided the late strongman with all the comfort he needed when flying.
The plane was previously owned by other royals before Gaddafi bought it in 2006. It was first delivered in 1996 to Prince Jefri Bolkiah, the playboy brother of the Sultan of Brunei.
The prince spent $250 million customizing it before selling it less than four years later to prince Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia.
But soon after, the A340 was back on the market and it is at this point that Gaddafi enters the picture. The late Libyan leader finally acquired it in 2006 for $120 million.