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King of Thailand Buys Russian Planes for Royal Fleet

But remember: Russia doesn't make anything

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This article originally appeared at The Moscow Times

The King of Thailand has ordered three Russian Sukhoi Superjet airliners for his royal fleet, the TASS news agency reported Friday citing Moscow's trade representative in Thailand, Oleg Maslennikov.

<figcaption>A Sukhoi Superjet airliner.</figcaption>
A Sukhoi Superjet airliner.

The planes will be fitted out with luxury furnishing, Maslennikov said, without specifying the value of the contract.

The Thai King, 87-year-old Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as Rama IX, is one of the richest monarchs in the world with wealth of over $30 billion, according to Forbes.

The Superjet 100, built by Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, is Russia's effort to break back into the global civil aviation market after the collapse of its Soviet era industry. The plane has struggled to gain market share after setbacks including a disaster in 2012, when a promotional flight crashed into a mountainside in Indonesia killing all 45 people on board.

Sales of the plane have gradually picked up, but Russia's state-owned Aeroflot remains the biggest single buyer with 30 orders.


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