India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit: ‪Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah pilots his own Boeing aircraft to New Delhi

The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah piloted his own aircraft to Air Force Station in New Delhi on Wednesday to attend the ASEAN India Commemorative Summit

FP Staff January 26, 2018 11:50:12 IST
India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit: ‪Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah pilots his own Boeing aircraft to New Delhi

The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, who is known for his lavish lifestyle, piloted his own aircraft to the Air Force Station in New Delhi on Wednesday to attend the ASEAN India Commemorative Summit, said media reports.

According to The Economic Times report, the Boeing 747-400 aircraft landed in New Delhi with the 71-year-old sultan himself in the cockpit. The report added that the sultan usually pilots his aircraft on overseas trips. He had captained the aircraft on his previous visits to New Delhi in 2008 and 2012 also.

Modi met the sultan on Thursday and had discussion on cooperation in defence and security, energy, education, health and space.

Bolkiah is among the 10 ASEAN heads of state and government who will attend this year's Republic Day celebrations as guests of honour, something unprecedented, since the leader of only one foreign country has attended the event as the chief guest all these years.

IndiaASEAN Commemorative Summit Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah pilots his own Boeing aircraft to New Delhi

File photo of Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei. AP

Bilateral trade between India and Brunei stood at over $504 million in 2016-17, according to figures provided by Brunei's Department of Economic Planning and Development.

Brunei and India share a fair degree of commonality in their perceptions on major international issues.

Hassanal Bolkiah's extravagant lifestyle

The sultan of Berunei, who is ranked among the wealthiest royal rulers in the world, has net worth of whopping $20 billion.

Bolkiah has been Brunei's sultan and prime minister since 1967, and he appoints all of Brunei's ruling bodies, including the Legislative Council and Sharia Courts. His sultanate is one of the world's most financially affluent where people do not have to pay any kind of income tax.

The sultan lives in a 1,800-room palace called the Istana Nurul Iman, which is one of the world's largest private residences. His house reportedly has 257 bathrooms, five swimming pools, a mosque, a banquet hall that can hold 5,000 people.

According to Business Insider report, the sultan and his family regularly travel with an entourage of 150. The sultan once paid Disney to have theme park characters flown to Brunei for a kids' birthday party.

Bolkiah is highly respected by his people. He is Brunei’s prime minister, minister of defence, finance and foreign affairs and trade, and the supreme commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, said Strait Times.

With inputs from agencies

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