Will the green state 747-8 BBJ originally bought by the Saudis in 2012 that sits unmodified in Basel ever see adoption by any of the governments on the Arabian pensinsula? Once Saudia put its two 748 freighters up for sale I assumed the new generation of leadership in SA is less prone to go four engines for highly visible VIP flying?.
MBS still has his HZ-HM1A, one of the last airworthy 747-300s, so...
HZ-HM1A was built in 1983 which makes it three years older than HRH MBS. Still beautiful and airworthy after 37 years. HZ-HM1 the 744 in Saudi Royal fleet is from 2001 and was only into Royal service in 2011. I always assumed they would be eventually replaced by the 747-8 (HZ-HMS1) that was built in 2012? have heard MBS mostly flies about in the Saudi Ministry of Finance 787-8 Dreamliner and so I wondered if two engines are the new way in SA
. I believe the Saudis still own the 747-8 BBJ but as time marches would any other Arabian monarchies want to acquire the 747-8? eg Dubai flies four 744 VIPs older than 20 years and Bahrain flies two 744VIPs. How about Kingdom Aircraft's 744 VIP that has been flying nearly 30 years?
I also wonder what will replace Dubai's, Abu Dhabi's and Bahrain's 747s. I think Kingdom's HZ-WBT7 will stay a bit longer. The thing got a new livery barely 2 years ago.
The 747-8 was to be Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud's jet, a former Crown Prince. He died in October 2011. No idea why another Prince or country does not take it.
The Saudis still got Airbus quads if they want four engines. Sky Prime operates an A340-200 and an A340-600.
Edit: Abu Dhabi used to operate one 747-8. A6-PFA. Was gifted to Morocco. They also had another one on order, it ended up being NTU, until Qatar took it.