Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso is the latest African president to spend so much money in the air. The President landed in Paris for environment talks with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday aboard a luxury private Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The aircraft, registered as 2-DEER, set off from Brazzaville Sunday evening and landed near Paris shortly after 0600 GMT (2:00pm Malaysian Time), according to flight tracker websites FlightAware and Flightradar24.
The plane is one of the most luxurious on the market.
It has a 220m², which includes a lounge-dining room, bedroom, bathroom and dozens of first-class seats.
Press reports say the plane costs US$70,000 (Shs259m) an hour to fly, meaning the one-way trip from Brazzaville to Paris would cost around US$500,000.
France in 2010 launched a wide-ranging corruption probe into the ruling elite in Congo-Brazzaville. To date, five members of Nguesso’s entourage have been charged.
His meeting on Tuesday with Macron focused on the protection of the forest and biodiversity in the Congo basin, according to the French presidency.
A source said Sassou reiterated his support for the Central African Forest Initiative, a partnership launched by Norway worth about US$60 million (RM252.7 million).
Congo pledged to put in place a plan to protect forests, biodiversity and peatlands, in return for financial assistance, the French presidency and a Congolese official said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced in July that it would grant US$448.6 million (RM1.8 billion) over three years to Brazzaville to revive its economy, which has taken a knock due to falling oil prices, in the hope of more “transparency” of its public accounts.
Ngueso’s flight expense comes just above Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa who has been chattering a luxury jet worth Shs 110m per hour of each day.
The luxury jet, a Boeing 767 BBJ, which houses a state of the art master bedroom, a private office, living room, and dining area, is reported to have cost the Zimbabwe president over Shs6b in-flight time hire.
The jet according toDaily Mailhas in the past been used by Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the son of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and a younger brother of the crown prince Mohammad bin Salman.
According to Zimbabwe’sZimLive.com, Mnangagwa has so far had over 40 foreign trips but his latest obsession with the luxury jet will see him hire it again for the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York, next month.
However, this is after he pays at least Shs2b, to reposition the jet from Switzerland.
Mnangagwa was in Japan with Uganda leader, Yoweri Museveni who himself used the country owned gulf-stream V.
The government bought Museveni’s Gulfstream at Shs88.2b in February 2009. Earlier, the president was using a lower model of gulf stream bought in 2000 for Shs 60b.