Seoul, Jan 15 (IANS) South Korea’s new presidential jet entered service on Saturday for a three-nation trip by President Moon Jae-in to the Middle East.
The new presidential plane, a Boeing 747-8i, was placed in commission Thursday, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Moon and his entourage flew aboard the new Air Force One for an eight-day trip to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The 213-seat plane was equipped with various security and communication devices, as well as hardware to improve its defence against outside attacks, such as missiles, while new engines increased its cruising speed and maximum total range, the presidential office said.
In 2020, the government signed a five-year contract with Korean Air Lines Co. to lease the new plane.
Under the 300 billion won ($252.7 million) deal, Korean Air Lines provides pilots, crew members, mechanics, as well as a back-up plane of the same type for the President’s overseas trips.
The lease period for the previous presidential jet, B747-400, expired on Monday, after flying some 1.62 million km since it entered service in 2010, the office added.