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Sultan of Oman’s plane seen landing in Ostend airport

The sultan had reportedly been struggling with his health since 2014. Credit: Wikipedia

A plane identified as belonging to the Sultan of Oman landed in the airport of Ostend on Tuesday evening after it was reported that the sultan departed from Brussels Airport at the end of last week.

The Airbus A320 was seen landed in the airport of the Flemish coastal city shortly before 8:00 PM, according to accounts bystanders at the scene.

The airport of Ostend did not provide any comment, according to HLN, with the outlet saying it was unclear who was on board the craft, after news emerged that the sultan had left Leuven on 13 December.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said had travelled to Leuven to undergo a “series of medical checks,” at the renowned UZ Leuven university hospital, Belgium’s Foreign Affairs Ministry announced in a press release.

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Belgian and Leuven authorities have remained mostly tight-lipped about the details surrounding the sultan’s visit and his coming and goings, with the outlet reporting that it was possible the plane had returned to Belgium to “collect things left behind.”

The longest-serving leader in the Middle East and his entourage had put the student city in the headlines after they booked an entire luxury hotel, leading to the four-starred The Fourth to cancel all new and existing bookings, including in its restaurant, just ahead of the holiday season.

No sightings of the 79-year-old sultan or his delegation have been reported in Leuven since the aircraft was spotted last night, with police saying that they had “not received any information” about a potential return.

On the day the sultan’s departure was reported, an employee of the hotel said in a phone interview that they could not give any information, but said the hotel remained closed to all bookings until the end of January.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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