Anthony Albanese’s entrance on the world stage has led to his first international flight becoming one of the most tracked online.
Within moments of the Prime Minister’s plane taking off, it shot to the top of the most watched flights on tracking website Flightradar24.
The prime ministerial plane is a converted A330 worth an estimated $250 million.
The aircraft was previously dubbed Shark One by former prime minister Scott Morrison, a nod to his NRL team the Cronulla Sharks.
Mr Albanese has not yet revealed if he plans to continue the tradition and rename the aircraft after his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs.
It was only toppled off the top spot after a US air force plane in Japan piqued the curiosity of users.
Mr Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong are on route to Tokyo where they are set to meet counterparts from the US, Japan and India for the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.
Speaking with reporters prior to his departure on Monday, Mr Albanese said it was an opportunity for Australia to send a “message to the world”.
“The meetings that we will have, not just with the United States but, importantly, with our hosts in Japan and India are going to be very important … to send a message to the world that there’s a new government in Australia,” he said.
“It’s a government that represents a change, in terms of the way that we deal with the world on issues like climate change but also a continuity in the way that we have respect for democracy and the way that we value our friendships and long-time alliances.”
Asked about China, Mr Albanese acknowledged the relationship remained strained but stressed he would not “play politics with national security issues”.
“The relationship with China will remain a difficult one. I said that before the election,” he said.
“That has not changed. It is China that has changed, not Australia and Australia should always stand up for our values and we will in a government that I lead.
“Can I make the point though, that what we should do is put Australia’s national interests first and not attempt to play politics with national security issues.”