Plane said to carry Sri Lanka’s President most-tracked in world

·1-min read
A Saudi Arabian Airlines bound for Singapore and carrying Sri Lanka's fleeing president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, his wife and two bodyguards prepares to take off at the Velana International airport in Male on July 14, 2022.
A Saudi Arabian Airlines bound for Singapore and carrying Sri Lanka's fleeing president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, his wife and two bodyguards prepares to take off at the Velana International airport in Male on July 14, 2022. (PHOTO: Getty Editorial)

By Anurag Kotoky

(Bloomberg) — A Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Maldives to Singapore believed to be carrying Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the world’s most-tracked flight on Thursday, underscoring massive global interest in the troubled island nation’s political affairs.

Saudia flight 788 from Male was being tracked by almost 5,000 users as of 7:43 a.m. GMT, according to data from Flightradar24.com, more than three times the number of people tracking a French Air Force plane flying in Europe. Rajapaksa is taking a Saudi Arabian Airlines plane to Singapore and then Saudi Arabia, the Associated Press reported earlier Thursday, citing a Maldivian official it didn’t name.

The plane, a Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner is scheduled to land in Singapore at about 7.12 p.m., according to Flightradar24 data. Rajapaksa fled Sri Lanka for the Maldives on Wednesday, amid widespread protests against his government.

He is expected to tender his resignation letter once at his destination, after missing a self-declared deadline Wednesday.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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