ALOR SETAR – Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ 320) executive aircraft that is newly acquired by the government made its first official flight ferrying Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah on Sunday.
The Prime Minister’s Department (JPM) in a statement here said the aircraft ferrying his majesty departed at 10 am from the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport here to Langkawi Island.
“The acquisition of the ACJ 320 aircraft is to replace the 16-year-old Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) which is in the process of being disposed. The decision to replace the BBJ was made in 2013 because of rising maintenance costs due to age and security risk factors,” it said.
According to the statement, the ACJ 320 aircraft arrived in Kuala Lumpur last May 6 after departing from Hamburg, Germany and stopped in Almaty, Kazakhstan for one hour for refuelling.
The aircraft carried nine crew and two JPM senior officers tasked to ensure the aircraft was received in good condition and met the specifications of the purchase agreement.
The Hamburg-Almaty-Subang route was suggested based on the weather prevailing at that time.
“The flight also used China’s air space based on the wind condition and height of clouds compared to the air space of Afghanistan,” said JPM.
Apart from ACJ 320 executive aircraft, three other government executive aircraft are the ACJ 319 acquired in 2007, while two small-sized aircraft, namely Falcon in 1989 and Global Express in 2001.
The government special aircraft is allocated for the usage of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
However, JPM said subjected to the conditions set by the government, the aircraft could also be permitted to be used by the Sultans, Yang di-Pertua Negeri, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, federal government guests from abroad, senior government officers and dignitaries.
Meanwhile, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s arrival at the airport’s Bunga Raya Complex was welcomed by the Religious, Siamese Community Affairs, Works, Tourism and Heritage executive committee chairman Datuk Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid.
Also present were State Secretary Datuk Paduka Mohd Puat Mohd Ali and State Police Chief Datuk Zamri Yahya. – BERNAMA