SAS medical evacuation plane lands in Malaysia to attend to King Harald of Norway


Once upon a time, in the exotic setting of Langkawi, Malaysia, a remarkable event unfolded involving the Norwegian monarch, King Harald, and the swift intervention of SAS medical evacuation services.

It all began when, on a serene Tuesday, the 27th of February, the Norwegian royal household announced that King Harald, aged 87, had been hospitalised in Malaysia due to an infection acquired during a leisurely vacation. News of the royal health concern spread, raising questions and curiosity among the public.

Two days later, a glimmer of hope emerged as the royal court revealed that the king was improving and anticipated returning home in the upcoming days. Acting promptly, a medical evacuation aircraft, transformed into a “flying hospital,” took off from Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport on a late Thursday evening: a Boeing 737-700 registered LN-RPJ.

As the sun painted the skies on a Friday morning, the same aircraft touched down at the Malaysian airport of Langkawi after an intermediate stop at Sharjah, as reported by NRK’s correspondent onsite. The SAS passenger plane, now equipped with 18 hospital beds and 39 regular ones, had previously served in evacuating injured Ukrainian soldiers to Norway.

While not officially confirmed by the Norwegian royal court, speculation mounted about the purpose of the plane’s presence – whether it was there to transport King Harald back home. The Norwegian defence forces remained tight-lipped, refusing to comment on the mission’s specifics. However, Defence Minister Bjørn Arild Gram assured the public that the government would ensure the king’s safe return.

It is essential that the king returns home when he is unwell, and we will, of course, make that happen,” affirmed Minister Gram in an interview with NRK.

Prince Haakon provided reassurance about the king’s well-being, acknowledging the significance of proper medical attention given his advanced age.

It’s evident that his age necessitates careful treatment. They are highly skilled at the hospital,” noted Prince Haakon.

By the late afternoon on Friday, the royal court made an official statement, announcing that King Harald would extend his stay in the Malaysian hospital for a few more days.

The king will remain at the hospital for a few more days for treatment and rest before heading home,” read the official statement, leaving the kingdom in anticipation of the monarch’s safe return and continued recovery.


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