The airplane belonging to former Bulgarian Communist ruler Todor Zhivkov was submerged in the Black Sea near the city of Varna to attract scuba divers and tourists to the beaches of northeastern Bulgaria, reports Reuters.

According to Orlin Tsanev, chairman of Black Sea Dive Odesos association, the vehicle was placed at about 22 metres (24 yards) deep in the bay of Varna and 700 metres from the coast to form an artificial reef, Orlin Tsanev.

He found the submerged vehicle a better means to attract more tourists and help in the training of divers.

The Tupolev-154, a Soviet-made vehicle, ordered specially for Zhivkov, Eastern Europe's longest-serving communist leader, was grounded in 1999 but once flew with passengers such as former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Tsanev said the Tupolev-154 is the biggest plane to be placed under water and has considered applying to Guinness world records to have the feat recorded.