Presidential Plane Spotting: Today I Saw South Korea, Which Have You Seen?

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian, the center of African diplomacy. The city is festooned with South Korean flags and pictures of her aside pictures of the Ethiopian president.

I have gotten to know President Park’s presidential 747-400 as I have transited Addis Ababa several times this week. It is no accident that it simply says ‘Korea.’ Is there any plane better suited to make a regal impression than the 747-400?

South Korean Presidential Plane 747-400

In March, a day ahead of the investiture of the new president of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, I saw numerous delegations fly in, including this ancient CEIBA plane from Equatorial Guinea.

CEIBA Plane Bangui

Being an onlooker to these events is a small thrill.

Readers, what presidential planes have you seen?

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  • TCCQuest

    TG924 BKK-MUC a few weeks ago (May 10th), 747. On boarding the first several sections of rows have 8.5×11 printed paper with names printed hanging on each seat.

    Take seat. Plane loads, delayed at gate “by tower” for an hour.

    De-planing in Munich each of those seats are filled with men and women in pressed suits (after 12 hour flight). Large medallions on left lapel and most are wearing laminated placards clipped somewhere to suit that among the design and Thai lettering says “Royal Staff”. There were about 100 Gunga Din sitting there.

    As we walk towards the transfer/immigration area we look out through the glass walkways (it’s Europe, it’s all glass!) and see 5 Mercedes vans with a Polezei escort pulling away, a third exit (stairs) coming from the plane, and red carpet being rolled up.

    The Gunga Dins are following us off (we had child so were at back of plane and one of the last civilians to deplane). I figure there were higher ranking Gunga Dins on the upper deck with whichever Royal traveled with us.


  • We didn’t see a Presidential plan or anything, but on a trip to the UAE via AirJordanian this past October we did share the business class cabin with the prime minister of Jordan. He spent the majority of the time on the flight playing Temple Run on his iPad when his cabinet ministers weren’t coming up to talk with him about important matters of state.