Vienna: In a rare honour, two Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets escorted the Air India One aircraft carrying President Pratibha Patil as it entered the Austrian airspace.

Within seconds of entering the Austrian airspace from Switzerland on Tuesday, two mean looking and gleaming jets appeared suddenly on the left side of the President's plane.

Had the people on board including journalists not known before about the fighters escorting the plane, many would have skipped a heartbeat to see the combat jets right next to them.

Within seconds, those inside the Presidential aircraft started shooting the jets in frenzy. But, only with their mobile phones and cameras.

The jets are one of the latest combat aircrafts that was also used in the Libyan war to bomb Muammar Gaddafi's strongholds.

The Eurofighters are one of the shortlisted contenders in the Indian MRCA tender to purchase 126 "Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft". The other competitor remaining in the race is the French Rafale fighters.

After about two minutes, one of the jets suddenly pulled back and flew to the other side of the aircraft.

From the flight attendants to the security on board and journalists, everyone was just interested in getting the perfect shot of the plane which in between also opened its co-passenger shield as a mark of respect.

But the best view was just before the landing as all three aircraft lost altitude and the jets were just at an arm's length. One could see the fighter pilot sitting inside the cockpit.

If that was not enough, President received a 21 gun salute at the Vienna airport. It was indeed a sight to see the guns firing away as Patil shook hands with Austrian delegation that had come to welcome her.

Patil soon disappeared as the long siren blazing carade drove away to the one of the oldest hotel in the city, Hotel Imperial, where the President is staying. Heavy police presence was seen around the hotel.

Back in Switzerland too, President had received heavy security cover. There was even an anti-riots vehicle parked outside the President’s hotel in Geneva. The vehicle almost looked like a tank.

The heavy presence of policemen outside the hotel was all together a different experience for the locals as police can hardly be seen on the roads on a normal day.

President was being provided security by the Swiss special police. She even got an aerial cover whenever she moved out of the hotel.

Patil always had stern looking Swiss commandos carrying bags guarding her all the time. Inside the bag, the commandos held on to their assault rifles, which looked like an MP5 gun.

Even the hotel that she stayed in Swiss capital Bern was also heavily secured. It was just walking distance from the Swiss parliament and the National Bank.

(Agencies)