Air transports of heads of state and government
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Air transports for heads of state and government are, in many countries, provided by the air force in specially equipped airliners or business jets. One such aircraft in particular has become part of popular culture: Air Force One, used by the President of the United States and operated by the United States Air Force. Other well known official aircraft include Air India One, the Russian presidential aircraft, Brazilian Air Force One, Code One and the Royal Australian Airforce VIP aircraft and the Konrad Adenauer.
On 15 July 1910, during a visit to Belgium, Ferdinand I, the Tsar of Bulgaria, became the first head of state to fly in an aircraft. The first head of state or government to receive official and dedicated air transport was the British Monarch. In 1928, two Westland Wapitis were delivered to No. 24 Squadron RAF at RAF Northolt for the express purpose of the transportation of the Royal Family. Between 1929 and 1935, Edward, Prince of Wales, purchased 13 aircraft. Although the RAF maintained at least one of these aircraft for a time, the Prince of Wales eventually became solely responsible for them.
When the prince ascended to the throne in 1936 as Edward VIII, The King's Flight was formed as the world's first head of state aircraft unit. This unit initially used the King's own de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide; however, this was replaced in May 1937 by an Airspeed AS.6J Envoy III.
In the United States, prior to World War II, overseas and cross-country presidential travel was rare. Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to fly in an aircraft while in office. During World War II, Roosevelt traveled on the Dixie Clipper, a Pan Am-crewed Boeing 314 flying boat to the 1943 Casablanca Conference, in Morocco, a flight that covered 5,500 miles in three legs.
The first dedicated aircraft proposed for presidential use was a Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express VIP transport aircraft. This aircraft, tail number 41-24159, was re-modified in 1943 for use as a presidential VIP transport, the Guess Where II, intended to carry President Franklin D. Roosevelt on international trips. The Secret Service subsequently reconfigured a Douglas C-54 Skymaster for duty as a presidential transport. This VC-54C aircraft, nicknamed the Sacred Cow, included a sleeping area, radio telephone, and retractable elevator to lift Roosevelt in his wheelchair. As modified, the VC-54C was used by President Roosevelt only once, on his trip to and from the Yalta Conference in February 1945.
In the postwar period, governments around the world have instituted similar provisions for the official aerial transportation of their heads of state and government.
List of aircraft, by countryEdit
The government of Algeria used operate an Airbus A340-500,, but was last seen at Hamburg Airport in 2018 for maintenence, and then disappeared. It might have been scrapped, retired, or having some long-term maintenance. The government is currently using a small batch of Gulfstream executive jets for VIP transport.
Argentina operated a fleet of aircraft and helicopters for exclusive use by President of Argentina and his or her family. This set of aircraft was known as the Agrupación Aérea Presidencial (Spanish for Presidential Air Group) and belonged to one of the Departments of the Presidency, called the Military House (‹See Tfd›(in Spanish) Casa Militar). This was responsible for the presidential security and transportation. Incorporated during presidency of Carlos Menem to replace a Boeing 707, Boeing 757 T-01 was used for international visits. The Agrupación Aérea Presidencial was closed in 2016 by president Mauricio Macri, because of the high cost of repairs and maintenance and the lack of adequate pilots and spare parts. The fleet of the Presidential Air Group in 2014 was:
- T-01 (Tango 01) Boeing 757-200
- T-02 Fokker F-28-4000 Fellowship
- T-03 Fokker F-28-1000C Fellowship
- T-04 Boeing 737-500
- T-10 Learjet 60
- H-01 Sikorsky S-70A Black Hawk
- H-02 Sikorsky S-76B
- H-03 Sikorsky S-76B
All aircraft from the Agrupación Aérea Presidencial are currently stored, however Mauricio Macri still uses the Boeing 737-500 for domestic and short-haul trips. In November 2014, when then Minister of Economy Axel Kicillof and then Foreign Minister Hector Timmerman attended the G20 Summit in Brisbane in place on then President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, they used a rented Dassault Falcon 7x from Swiss private jet company Cat Aviation, because the Boeing 757 was under maintenance in Argentina and was unable to perform the long haul flight to Australia.
The Royal Australian Air Force has operated a number of specialised aircraft to transport the Queen of Australia, other members of the Royal Family, the Governor General of Australia, senior members of the Australian government, and other dignitaries.
The RAAF's current Special Purpose Aircraft are two leased Boeing Business Jets, three Bombardier Challengers and a single Dassault Falcon 7x which are operated by No. 34 Squadron RAAF and are based at Canberra Airport. The Boeing Business Jets are custom configured Boeing 737-700s fitted with facilities such as conference tables, offices suites, secure satellite and communication capabilities. The two planes have a longer range than is standard for Boeing Business Jets. The Prime Minister regularly makes use of the aircraft for domestic and international travel.
Prior to the acquisition of the 737s, passenger-configured RAAF Boeing 707s tanker-transports were used. These aircraft were larger than the 737s currently in use.
In August 2014, Defence Minister David Johnston announced the intention to convert a KC-30A multi-role tanker to VIP configuration whilst maintaining its ability to serve as a military tanker and transport aircraft. The new plane has tail number A39-007. The new plane will be painted in "air force grey" rather than the current colour scheme.
Current RAAF VIP Aircraft:
- 737 Boeing Business Jet (2 aircraft, 2002–current)
- Challenger 604 (3 aircraft, 2002–current)
- Dassault Falcon 7X (3 aircraft, 2019-present) - replacement for Challenger 604s
The government of Austria never operated VIP transport aircraft, although there were plans in the late 1980s to acquire a BAe 146-100STA, capable of being converted into a VIP configuration - however, the already painted and registered aircraft was never flown to Austria, as the deal had to be cancelled due to political pressure that led to tensions within the Austrian Government. The head of state as well as members of the government are flown on scheduled flights, preferably using flag carrier Austrian Airlines, occasionally chartering smaller aircraft. Until the late 1990s, domestic VIP flights were operated by a four-seater Saab 105OE of the Austrian Air Force. For visits of peacekeeping missions of the Austrian Armed Forces, a Lockheed C-130K Hercules is still being used.
The President of Azerbaijan has three aircraft dedicated for his use: an Airbus A319 "Baku" owned directly by the government, a Boeing 767-300ER "Baku-1" owned directly by the government, and a leased Airbus A340-600 "Baku-8". All three aircraft are equipped with jamming equipment, anti-missile systems, and midair refueling equipment.
The President and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh travel on specially reserved aircraft of the country's national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines. For long distance flights or flights with an especially large entourage, usually a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is used, whereas for medium to short distance flights Airbus A310 aircraft were used until being phased out in September 2016. In many cases, two Biman aircraft are reserved for government flights, one as a standby aircraft.
The Bahrain Royal Flight operates a Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 747SP. Also still listed is a Boeing 727. In 2013 it acquired the only VIP 767-400 in the world, which originally was the prototype Northrop Grumman E-10 MC2A.
Other aircraft include:
For the transport of the royal family and the members of the Government, Belgium has the following aircraft from the 15th Wing Transport of the Air Component of the Armed Forces: one leased Airbus A321, one Dassault Falcon 900, one Embraer ERJ 135s and two Embraer ERJ 145s.
|Dassault Falcon 900||1|
|Embraer ERJ 135||1|
|Embraer ERJ 145||2|
The Government of Benin operated a Boeing 727 in 2015, but since then no-one has seen it. It may have been retired and put out of service, since the President of Benin, Patrice Talon nowadays travels on hired private jets. For example, when he visited Beijing for the FOCAC (Forum on China-Africa Cooperation) forum, he travelled in a Royal Jet Boeing Business Jet.
The King and the Government of Bhutan use an Airbus A319 from the national flag carrier Druk Air for all travel.
The Bolivian Air Force operates a Rockwell Sabreliner business-jet, acquired in 1975 for use by the President and government officials. In July 2010, the Bolivian government bought a Dassault Falcon 900EX for use by the President. In July 2013, the Bolivian government acquired a Dassault Falcon 50EX for use by the Executive Body.
- 1 x Falcon 900EX EASy used as Presidential Aircraft.
- 1 x Dassault Falcon 50EX used by the executive branch.
Bosnia and HerzegovinaEdit
The main Presidential aircraft used by the Brazilian Government is a modified Airbus A319, designated by the Brazilian Air Force as VC-1A and officially christened as the "Santos-Dumont", after the Brazilian aviation pioneer. The VC-1A is used for transporting the President on international medium-range travel, and for long-range the government use a Boeing 767 leased from 2017 to 2025. For short-range flights the President is transported in one of the two modified Embraer 190 presidential jets. When an aircraft is transporting the President of Brazil it uses the callsign Força Aérea 01 (Air Force One), ICAO code BRS01.
The Special Transport Group (GTE) of the Brazilian Air Force is responsible for transporting the President, the Vice-President and senior ministers of the Brazilian Government. The GTE comprises 22 aircraft:
- A modified VIP-configured Airbus A319 (VC-1A) "Santos-Dumont" used on all international flights carrying the President.
- Two modified VIP-configured Embraer 190 jets, "Bartolomeu de Gusmão" and "Augusto Severo", used on domestic and regional flights carrying the President.
- Two VIP-configured Eurocopter Super Puma (VH-34) presidential helicopters.
- Two VIP-configured Embraer ERJ-135 (VC-99C) aircraft.
- Ten Embraer ERJ-145 (C-99A) aircraft.
- Three Gates Learjet 35 (VU-35) jets.
The fleet is headquartered at the Brasília Air Force Base (BABR).
His Majesty The Sultan's Flight (HMSF) has several aircraft in VIP configuration exclusively for the Sultan of Brunei and members of the Royal Family.
- Boeing 767-200ER In service 1992
- Boeing 747-400 In service 1990.
- Airbus A340-200 In service 1997
- 2 x Sikorsky S-70A in service 1997
- Boeing 747-8 BBJ In service 2016
In Bulgaria governmental VIP air transport is provided by 28th Air Detachment - a civilian state-owned company under the Prime Minister of Bulgaria's office. As of 2018 it operates an Airbus A319, a Dassault Falcon 2000, 2 Mil Mi-8s and an Agusta AW-109 Power for use by the President, the Prime Minister and other state officials.
The government of Cameroon operated a Gulfstream III in 2015, but recently high ranking officials have been hiring aircraft from luxury Boeing 767s and Boeing 777s from private jet airlines Comlux and Ceira International for overseas trips.
The Royal Canadian Air Force operates five Airbus A310-300s (CC-150 Polaris), flown by crews of 437 Transport Squadron based at CFB Trenton; four are configured as normal airliners with cargo transport and aerial refuelling capability, while one, No. 001, is operated in a VIP configuration and charged with flying the monarch, other members of the Royal Family, the governor general, the prime minister, and other high-ranking government officials and foreign dignitaries. The CC-150 Polaris is primarily used for long distance trips; for short distance trips, four Bombardier Challenger 600 business jets (CC-144), operated by 412 Squadron are used.
Nowadays, the transportation is under the responsibility of the Chilean Air Force, which operates the following aircraft:
- 1 Boeing 737-500
- 1 Beechcraft 200 King Air
- 1 Gulfstream IV
- 1 Boeing 767-300ER. This aircraft was bought to replace the Boeing 737 in transcontinental flights. As of 2009[update] it is the only VIP FACh aircraft which uses the standard Chilean military livery, considering its multipurpose as VIP and freight transporter.
Formerly, FACh used a Boeing 707-320C which is still in service for military purposes.
China (People's Republic of China)Edit
Air transportation for the general secretary, President, Premier or other government officials of China is managed and operated by the 34th division of People's Liberation Army Air Force. Eight Boeing 737-300s and two 737-700s are used for these missions.
A secondhand Boeing 767-300ER was purchased by the Chinese government for use by the then leader Jiang Zemin in 2000. An international incident occurred in 2001 when the government claimed it had discovered 27 bugs embedded in the aircraft's interior. The aircraft had been refitted in San Antonio, Texas. It has since been converted back to a normal passenger airliner and sold.
A commercial Air China Boeing 747-4J6 is converted for international travel when necessary. The three 747-400 used for this purpose have the following registrations: B-2445, B-2447, B-2472. At least one of them are specially retrofitted during official use and returns to commercial service afterwards.
In 1933, Colombia acquired its first presidential transport aircraft, a Junkers Ju 52/3m, one of the most advanced aircraft of that time. It served former President Enrique Olaya Herrera until its retirement from service in 1950. From 1953 to 1972, a Douglas C-54 Skymaster served as the presidential aircraft starting with the dictatorship of Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1953–57).
In 2005, Colombia operated the following aircraft for presidential transport:
|Fokker F28 Fellowship||2|
|Embraer Legacy 600||1|
|Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk||1|
The Colombian president may use the modified "Jupiter" Boeing KC-767 longer range flights.
The Air Surveillance Service is a department in the Ministry of Public Security which is in charge of police surveillance in airspace. This department has one Beechcraft King Air F90-1 and one MD 600N helicopter. The aircraft are available for surveillance and transportation for the President of Costa Rica and other government dignitaries. In 2018 Costa Rica bought one Beechcraft King Air 250.
Pilots of the Croatian Air Force fly a low-visibility grey VIP-configured Challenger CL-604 9A-CRO business-jet, acquired in August 1997 to be used by the President, Government and Parliament officials, and other users upon the approval of the Prime Minister, especially in the case of flights for the transportation of organs or seriously injured persons. Additionally, Mil Mi-8-1 twin-turbine helicopter is occasionally used for the short-range travel within the country. Directorate for the Use of Official Aircraft is an expert service of the Government that operates the aircraft.
Transportation for the Cuban President is the responsibility of Cubana de Aviación, one of Cuba's state-owned airlines. Although the entire fleet is available for presidential use, the most commonly used aircraft are 2 Ilyushin Il-96.
The Czech Air Force operates two Airbus A319CJs, a Bombardier Challenger 600, two Yakovlev Yak-40 aircraft and Mil Mi-8 helicopters for VIP transport, primarily that of the President, Prime Minister, and members of Government and Parliament of the Czech Republic.
The Royal Danish Air Force operates four Bombardier Challenger 604s for VIP transport, primarily that of the government and The Danish Royal Family. These aircraft are also used for environmental control and fishery control around Greenland and the North Sea. Furthermore, the Danish Royal Family have one AgustaWestland EH101 Merlin at their disposal. Ministers also fly on commercial airlines such as Scandinavian Airlines.
Djibouti government has a Dassault Falcon 7X.
The Air Force of the Dominican Republic or Fuerza Aérea de República Dominicana maintains the presidential helicopter fleet, which includes a Bell 430 and Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin and Eurocopter EC155 models, to transport the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina. For overseas and long distance travel the president is transported on an Aero Commander 500.
Ecuador has a Dassault Falcon 7X and an Embraer Legacy 600 for presidential long and short range transport respectively, both acquired in recent years by Rafael Correa's government. They replaced an older fleet of Rockwell Sabreliners and Avro 748s. Aircraft from the flag-carrier airline TAME's fleet, including Airbus A319 and Embraer E-Jets can also be drafted for government use.
The first presidential aircraft in Egypt was a gift from Saudi Arabia to Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Before that, the President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, traveled using a rented aircraft from Egypt Air.
In addition to air force aircraft, a number of aircraft are directly under government control to transfer the President of Egypt, presidential logistics, the Prime Minister and members of the government, including:
|Beechcraft Super King Air||USA||4|
|Dassault Falcon 20||France||3|
|Dassault Falcon 7X||France||4|
|Dassault Falcon 8X||France||1|
|Sikorsky H-3 Sea King||USA||2|
|Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk||USA||2|
|Westland Commando MK-2B||UK||2|
El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes uses a de luxe version of the Bell 412 helicopter for local flights. The President also has military aircraft, helicopters and a presidential turboprop for his use.
|McDonnell Douglas MD-80||1||—|
Finnish officials do not have individually allotted aircraft. The president and cabinet ministers usually travel on commercial flights. However, the Finnish Air Force operates three Learjet 35 aircraft with limited transport capability for use by senior government and military officials. Helicopters of the Finnish Army or Coast Guard are utilized to provide transport to senior officials on some domestic trips.
Prime minister Juha Sipilä, an avid aviator, has also made official trips with aircraft that he has personally flown and paid for, such as a Cessna CitationJet/M2 525 and a Scanwings Cessna 525 (OH-WIX). The longest trip was to Ulaan Baatar in 2016. The government leases private jets from companies such as Jetflite Oy.
The Escadron de transport, d'entrainement et de calibration 00.065 (ETEC 65, "Transportation, training and calibration squadron") is the unit of the French Air Force, under direct command of the Minister of Defence, in charge of the transportation of the President, the Prime Minister and other French government officials.
The Escadron de transport, d'entrainement et de calibration operates four Dassault Falcon 50s, two Dassault Falcon 900s, two Dassault Falcon 7Xs and an Airbus A330-200. Additionally, the unit operates three VIP-configured Super Puma helicopters.
The fleet used by Germany's senior government officials consists of twelve aircraft:
- 2 x Airbus A340-313X VIP including the "Konrad Adenauer"
- 2 x Airbus A319-133X CJ
- 1 x Airbus A321-200
- 4 x Bombardier Global 5000
- 3 x Eurocopter AS532 Cougar
They use two Airbus A340-313X VIP aircraft, previously of Germany's Lufthansa, redesigned by Lufthansa Technik in a VIP configuration, including sleeping rooms and an anti-missile system. The aircraft are named after Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of (West) Germany, and Theodor Heuss, its first President. Until 2011 Germany's government officials used two Airbus A310-304 VIP carrying the same names, previously of East Germany's Interflug. In April 2019, Germany's "Luftwaffe" ordered three Airbus A350-900 as their new government planes and as a replacement for the aging A340s.
In Summer 2019, the Luftwaffe also ordered three Bombardier Global 6000 as an addition to the exsting fleet.
Georgian Airways operated a single Bombardier Challenger 850 since 2007 to carry the President of Georgia and government officials. In 2011, a Gulfstream 450 was added to its inventory, possibly replacing the Challenger in its VIP transport role.
Guatemalan President usually travels in a Guatemalan Air Force Beechcraft King Air 300 turboprop aircraft, with capacity for 10 passengers, for international travels, or in a Guatemalan Air Force Bell 412 helicopter for travels inside Guatemala. For longer flights, or flights when the Guatemalan Air Force aircraft are unavailable, the president has been known to travel using commercial travel, or rented civilian aircraft.
Greece's prime minister has a Gulfstream V at his disposal, which is under the operational command of the Hellenic Air Force. The aircraft was bought by the government of Costas Simitis for the needs of Greece's 2003 EU presidency and the preparations of the 2004 Olympic Games. The VIP transport squadron (112 Combat Wing at the Elefsis Air Force Base) of the Hellenic Air Force also operates two Embraer business jets. For long haul flights the Prime Minister and other officials used one of the Airbus A340-300s of the government owned Olympic Airlines when they were still in service. The A340 aircraft were used for the official visit of the Greek Prime minister to Australia in 2007.
Two other aircraft used over the last two decades for the same purpose raised controversy. A Dassault Falcon 900 had a range of technical problems culminating in an accident that cost the life of the deputy minister of foreign affairs Giannos Kranidiotis and five other people due to severe in-flight pitch oscillations 20 minutes before landing at Bucharest on 9 September 1999.
Under executive order 2954/28-8-12, the Greek government bestowed the 30-seat Embraer to the Hellenic Air Force to be used for pilot training, patient airlift and organ transplant transportation.
The Hungarian government uses a Dassault Falcon 7X and two Airbus A319 airliners.
Air India One (AIC001) is the call-sign of any aircraft with the President of India, Vice President of India or the Prime Minister of India on board. Air India One is operated by the Indian Air Force. Since 2003 one of four Boeing 747-400s of Air India have been used for international travel. The 747-400s are to be replaced by Boeing 777-300ERs. The 777-300ERs are to be inducted in the end of 2018 or start of 2019. Other than the Boeing 747s there are three Boeing 737BBJ aircraft used for domestic travel. The 747-400s are fitted with encrypted satellite communication facilities and advanced navigation aids. The jets are also equipped with an advanced missile warning system, a missile deflecting shield and electronic counter measures so as to provide protection from any ground-based or air-borne threats and flares and glares for misleading the missile.
In 2008, the Indian Air Force inducted three Boeing Business Jets which are used by President of India, Vice President of India or the Prime Minister of India. These aircraft have a range of 3,000 to 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km) and are fitted with encrypted satellite communication facilities and advanced navigation aids. These BBJ are used for domestic travel and nearby International trips. The jets are also equipped with an advanced missile warning system, a missile deflecting shield and electronic counter measures so as to provide protection from any ground-based or air-borne threats. The other aircraft used are four 14 seater Embraer 135, four 20 seater Embraer 145 for other government officials.
Apart from these aircraft there are several helicopters used such as Mi-8 for carrying the President and Prime Minister for travelling a short distance. These aircraft and helicopters are operated by the Indian Air Force.
As a sprawling vast archipelagic nation, the Indonesian President needs a reliable, safe and secure VVIP air transportation quite frequently, either to visit Indonesian provinces, as well as to attend international summits, meetings or to pay official foreign visits. Since April 2014, Indonesia has acquired Indonesia One, an aircraft dedicated solely for presidential use. This aircraft allows the president and his entourage to enjoy cross-continental trips in ease.
Prior to having their own aircraft, the President of Indonesia and the Vice President formerly used aircraft chartered from Garuda Indonesia for their air travels. Boeing 737-800s were used for domestic flights and short-range international flights; and Airbus A330-300s were used for most overseas trips and state visits. The Indonesian Air Force also has special VIP squadrons for the President, Vice President and government ministers. These are the 17th Air Squadron (Indonesian: Skadron Udara 17) operating Avro RJ85, Boeing 737-200, Boeing 737-400, Fokker F28-1000 and Lockheed C-130 Hercules fixed-wing aircraft; and the 45th Air Squadron (Indonesian: Skadron Udara 45) flying Aérospatiale AS 332L-1 Super Puma helicopters. All these aircraft and helicopters are based at Halim Perdanakusuma Airforce Base, Jakarta. Almost all presidential flights depart from there.
On 10 April 2014, Indonesian presidential aircraft was delivered to Jakarta. The government claimed the cost of operating its own aircraft would be lower than chartering Garuda aircraft. The aircraft is the Boeing Business Jet variant of the 737-800. The aircraft specifications were designed to meet the specific safety requirements and security standards of Indonesia's VVIP air transportation, which includes a high-end self-defense system.
Until the early 2010s, the president and other high-ranking government officials of Iran were still using the aged but famous Shahin, a special VIP designed Boeing 707 which was ordered and purchased by the Shah of Iran in the 1970s. It was initially far more luxuriously outfitted than US Air Force One, but after the Iranian Revolution it was redesigned as a normal VIP aircraft. Another VIP airliner, an Airbus A321 which was purchased during the 1990s, is also used on medium range trips of high officials such as the Foreign Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council. The other VIP aircraft in use by the government consist of one Dassault Falcon 20, three Dassault Falcon 50s and a Lockheed JetStar all operated by the Iranian Air Force, and an Airbus A340-300, operated (along with the A321) by Meraj Airlines. The government of Iran had also occasionally chartered an A340-300 from Mahan Air prior to the acquisition of the current A340-300.
Prior to 2014, the government of Iraq used a Boeing 767-200. Former President Saddam Hussein had his own personal Boeing 747SP for his travel as well as few Boeing 727s and Dassault Falcons for Governmental use.
The Irish Ministerial Air Transport Service (MATS) is part of the Irish Air Corps, it provides secure transport to the President of Ireland, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, and members of the government and their staff, both within and outside Ireland.
The State of Israel does not currently[when?] possess a specific jet for use of its heads of state. Whenever the current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flies long distances (out of the country), the government leases an airliner from El Al, the country's flag carrier. Meanwhile, the President Reuven Rivlin and other high-ranking dignitaries are relegated to El Al first-class commercial service.
In 2016 approval was given for the acquisition of a dedicated aircraft for use by the Prime Minister. An aircraft was acquired and is currently undergoing a reported US$70 million modification program, much of which is classified but will include advanced secure communications capabilities as well as advanced missile defense system supplied by the Israeli electronics firm Elbit.
The aircraft is scheduled to enter service in late 2019.
The Italian Air Force operates three Airbus Corporate Jets. One Airbus is equipped with 30 seats for use by the Prime Minister or President, the other aircraft each have 50 seats for use of government officials. Two smaller Dassault Falcon 50s and three Dassault Falcon 900s are also used for government transport. Two AgustaWestland AW139 are operated for use by the President and government officials, and are also used by the Pope. An Airbus A340-500 was leased for longer-distance trips by the Italian Prime Minister or President in 2016 and phased out in 2018. All aircraft and helicopters are operated by the 31st Wing based in Rome Ciampino Airport.
The Jamaican government charters either an Airbus A340 for long haul flights and or a Boeing BBJ 737-800 for shorter journeys. Various helicopters from the Jamaica Defense Force fleet may also be used.
They have the radio callsigns Japanese Air Force One and Japanese Air Force Two when operating on official business, and Cygnus One and Cygnus Two when operating outside of official business (e.g., on training flights). The aircraft always fly together on government missions, with one serving as the primary transport and the other serving as a backup with maintenance personnel on board. The aircraft are officially referred to as Japanese government exclusive aircraft (日本国政府専用機 Nippon-koku seifu sen'yōki).
The aircraft were constructed at the Boeing factory at the same time as the United States Air Force One VC-25s, though the US aircraft were built to the 747-200 design, while the Japanese aircraft were built to the more contemporary 747-400 design. Both Japanese aircraft were delivered in 1990. The 747s have been replaced by new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in the fiscal year 2019.
The Kazakhstan government fleet consists of the following aircraft (August 2015):
- 1 x Boeing 737-700 BBJ
- 1 x Airbus A320
- 1 x Airbus A321
- 1 x Tupolev Tu-154
- 1 x Boeing 757
- 1 x Airbus A330-200
The government of Kenya operated a Fokker 70 officially named "Harambee One" in 2015. It was purchased in 1995 and used for the first time on January 26, 1996 by retired President Daniel Moi. Prior to the purchase of the Fokker, the Kenyan President primarily used Kenya Airways for his international travel. The Presidential fleet also includes Bombardier Dash 8 and Aerospatiale Puma, mostly for domestic travel.
Korea, North (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)Edit
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un travels overseas on one of two VIP configured Ilyushin Il-62M aircraft of the Korean People's Army Air Force operated by Air Koryo crew. Kim Jong-un's private aircraft is known as Goshawk-1.
Korea, South (Republic of Korea)Edit
Since April 2010, a Boeing 747-400, leased from Korean Air by the Republic of Korea Air Force, conducts official international travels by the President of South Korea. The aircraft is based in Seoul Air Base, however most operational support including pilots is provided by Korean Air. The lease extends until April 2020, once renewed in December 2014. As of November 2017, the South Korean government does not have a plan for the replacement of the leased 747. Before the 747-400 was leased, the President normally travelled on Boeing 747 aircraft painted in a Korean Air or Asiana Airlines livery. The presidential seal would be mounted on the forward passenger door to show that that aircraft is carrying the President.
The highly modified VIP aircraft known by its callsign Code One is one of the most high tech and protected planes in the world. It has a lot of Classified technology onboard of what is publicly known is that the VIP aircraft has the following technology installed on board. Infrared vision, secure satellite communication, secure telephone communications, missile defense system, missile deflection system and it is made out of a special metal that makes it hard to detect on radar systems. It also has had a complete renovation of the interior of the plane turning the plane into a flying command center so the president can continue his or her duties. While the President is flying there is also an identical plane flying at the same time where it is not only used as a decoy but also as a spare as well so if anything were to go wrong with the main aircraft that the President is on board the president can immediately be put on board the second VIP aircraft where he or she can resume their duties safely. Code One is based at Seoul Air Base where it is held in a secret hangar where it is protected at all times by the Presidential Security Service and the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. There are always spare parts nearby needed Incase of immediate repairs. These planes are also available for use by the Prime Minister of South Korea under a different callsign and the aircraft is always flown by an experienced pilot from the Republic of Korea Air Force.
The highly modified VIP helicopter just like Code One is one of the most high tech and protected aircraft in the world and has a lot of Classified technology on board. Of what is publicly known is that the helicopter has secure telephone communications, secure satellite communications, Infrared vision, missile defense sysytem and just like Code One the helicopter is also made out of a special metal that makes it hard to detect on radar systems. While the helicopter is flying there are two others flying at the same time which are used as decoys but also as spares so if anything were to go wrong with the helicopter that the President is flying on he or she can immediately get put on one of the spare helicopters to resume their duties safely. The helicopter is based at Seoul Air Base just like Code One where it is held in a secret hangar where it is protected at all times by the Presidential Security Service and the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. There are always spare parts nearby needed Incase of immediate repairs. These helicopters are also available for use by the Prime Minister of South Korea under a different callsign and the helicopter is always flown by an experienced pilot from the Republic of Korea Air Force.
Until April 2013, the Emir of Kuwait used a Boeing 747-400; since then he has used either one of two Airbus A340-500 airframes equipped with military defense equipment to protect the aircraft from any potential attacks, or since 2016, a Boeing 747-8 equipped similarly to the A340s. The aircraft are also used by the Crown Prince of Kuwait.
The rest of the official state aircraft used by senior ruling family members and cabinet members consist of:
For his local and regional trips, the Lebanese president uses a Lebanese Air Force VIP variant of an AgustaWestland AW139 code named "Cedar 1"; the helicopter was a gift from the Emir of Qatar HH Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The Lebanese president uses Middle East Airlines (MEA) jets for his international trips. MEA aircraft use "Cedar Jet 1" as a special call sign when they are transporting the president.
The Chief Executive of Macau travels abroad (and to mainland China destinations) on commercial aircraft operated by Air Macau, the de facto flag carrier of the territory. As Macau is a small locale, there is no need for air travel within the territory.
The government of Madagascar operated a Boeing 737-300 in 2015.
President Peter Mutharika travels abroad on chartered aircraft.
Malaysia's Prime Minister and Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Ruling Monarch) travel aboard an Airbus ACJ319 operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The Airbus ACJ319 was purchased in 2015. Other aircraft in use include a Dassault Falcon 900, Fokker F28 Fellowship, Bombardier Global Express BD-700 and a Boeing 737 BBJ.
The government of Mali operated a Boeing 737-700/BBJ in 2015.
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz does not own a personal aircraft. Instead, whenever he travels overseas or domestically, he borrows a Mauritania Airlines Boeing 737-700 registration 5T-CLC, or an Embraer 145 of unknown registration converted into a VIP configuration. Recently, on his trips to New York, Pyongyang and Beijing, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz flew in Mauritania Airlines’ first Boeing 737 MAX 8, registration 5T-CLJ.
As of February 2016, the air fleet of the President of Mexico has a total of 18 aircraft which are described below:
|Aero Commander 500 family||1|
|Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma||2|
|Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma||5|
|Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma||2|
In 2012, the Mexican government announced the acquisition through a 15-year lease of a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The new presidential aircraft (TP-01) incorporates modern security systems; named José María Morelos y Pavón, it started operations in December 2015. President Enrique Peña Nieto used the aircraft for the first time at the Air Force 101st anniversary ceremony on 10 February 2016.
Newly elected president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (2018) has promised to sell all the fleet and fly commercial and use the money for social projects for the poor.
The Mongolian President and Prime Minister with other Parliament members use a Boeing 767-300ER or Boeing 737-800 for short to medium range from Government owned by MIAT Mongolian Airlines. In domestic routes head of Mongolia and other government officials use Saab 340B or Fokker 50 chartered from Eznis Airways and Aero Mongolia. Currently Mongolian Government is in talks with Cessna to purchase Cessna Citation jets. The number is unknown.
|Cessna Citation X||2|
|Cessna Citation V||2|
|Dassault Falcon 50||1|
|Dassault Falcon 10||1|
|British Aerospace 146||1|
A fleet of smaller jets and Beechcraft Super King Air 200/350 turboprops, is also occasionally used for VIP-transport of the royal family, ministers and armed forces senior staff.
The Namibian government uses a Dassault Falcon 7x and Dassault Falcon for VIP transport. Also Learjet 31A and soon to be acquired Learjet 45 plus two AW139 helicopters for Domestic use by VIP
The present President of Nepal, Prime Minister of Nepal and other senior government officials travel on regular scheduled commercial flights or chartered flights by either Nepal Airlines or Himalaya Airlines. There is no plane used specifically for the VIP operations.
The Netherlands government operated a Fokker 70 as a means of transport for the Dutch Royal family and government officials, such as the prime minister and other ministers. It was used to attend international conferences, but also for private trips by the King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima. The registration was PH-KBX; PH for the Netherlands and KBX for 'Koningin BeatriX' or Queen Beatrix. The previous aircraft, a Fokker F28 Fellowship, was registered PH-PBX, with PBX for 'Princess BeatriX'. The aircraft was maintained by KLM Cityhopper. The aircraft was retired in May 2017, in line with the withdrawal of the Fokker 70 from KLM Cityhopper's fleet. The Fokker F70 is replaced by a Boeing 737 BBJ in 2019 at a cost of 89m Euro, it is registered PH-GOV (GOVernment).
For long haul trips, aircraft belonging to the commercial airline Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) are used. Often the upper deck of a Boeing 747 is used. Sometimes the Fokker 70 is sent ahead; for the long stretch a KLM flight is used and for the final trip the Fokker. King Willem-Alexander has a Fokker 70/100 type rating and is often seen as pilot on these trips. To keep his licence current he sometimes flew with KLM Cityhopper on scheduled flights. As part of the KLM Fokker drawdown, King Willem-Alexander is training on mainline KLM Boeing 737 aircraft to qualify to fly the new VIP aircraft.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force maintains two Boeing 757-200s which are occasionally used to transport the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, various other government officials, as well as the Queen of New Zealand and members of the Royal Family when on New Zealand business. As multi-role aircraft, they are more often used as transport aircraft for troops or freight. Generally, the Prime Minister and government officials use commercial or chartered flights (with Air New Zealand where available) to travel both domestically and internationally.
The Nigerian Air Force currently maintains a Boeing Business Jet (737) as a means of transport for the President of Nigeria. The aircraft is known as "Eagle One" and is marked NAF-001. In addition, there is a Gulfstream V-SP, a Gulfstream 550, two Falcon 7Xs, a Dornier Do 228 and three A139 helicopters. The Falcon 900s (two), a GIV-SP, and G II were all sold. A Citation Bravo and Hawker 800 were returned to the Air Force.
The air transport of the King and Prime Minister of Norway is mostly handled by commercial airliners with the VIPs travelling as normal passengers. However, the Norwegian government will charter small private jets for government ministers when needed. The Royal Norwegian Air Force 717 Squadron at Rygge Air Station also maintain one Dassault Falcon 20 (5–9 passengers) for VIP-transport of the royal family, ministers and armed forces senior staff.
The history of executive transport dates back to the earliest days of Pakistan. After independence in August 1947, the need for an official aircraft for head of state was felt strongly. For this purpose, an ex-British Imperial Air Force Vickers Viking was procured to serve as the official transport of the Governor-General of Pakistan. This aircraft is considered as the first to use the call sign reserved for an aircraft flying Pakistan's head of state or head of government, 'PAKISTAN ONE'. Pakistan's first Governor-General, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the first to fly in this aircraft, using it until his death on 11 September 1948. After his death, the new Governor-General, Khawaja Nazimuddin used the aircraft as his official transport until 1953, when the aircraft was retired. It remained parked at Karachi's Mauripur Airbase and then at a PAF Base in Peshawar. In 1997, the aircraft was disassembled and transported to Karachi via road. In Karachi, it was restored and put up for display at the Pakistan Air Force Museum.
Following that, in the 1960s and 70s, the President of Pakistan: Muhammad Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto used Boeing 707 jetliners of the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines. In the 1980s, President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq used Lockheed C-130B Hercules. In the '90s, Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto used a Boeing 737 for their official trips. The airliner was maintained by Pakistan Government Transport. PIA always transports the presidents and Prime Ministers of Pakistan on overseas visits. During the late 1990s, Prime Minister Sharif's government bought a Boeing 737-300 for official use. Initially it was given to PIA for commercial use while it was not on official duty. However, when the government changed after a military coup in 1999, the aircraft was transferred to PIA permanently. The President and Prime Minister then resorted to using two of PIA's Airbus A310s for official visits, while rare trips were done on regular commercial flights of the airline. In 2007 Qatar government gifted an Airbus A310-300 of Qatar Amiri Flight to Pakistan, it was operated for the Pakistan Air Force by PIA. After 2010 Gulfstream IV is being operated by Pakistan Air Force with serial number J-755,J-756 and four AW 139 helicopters are also on President and Prime Minister disposal everytime.
The 250th Presidential Airlift Wing of the Philippine Air Force is used to transport the President of the Philippines and the First Family. On occasion, the wing has also been tasked to provide transportation for other members of government, visiting heads of state, and other state guests.
The fleet includes: 1 Fokker F28, which is primarily used for the President's domestic trips and it is also called Kalayaan ("Freedom") One when the President is on board, 1 Fokker F27 aircraft, 4 Bell 412 helicopters, 3 Sikorsky S-76 helicopters, and 1 Sikorsky S-70A-5 Black Hawk.
For trips outside of the Philippines, the President uses a Learjet 60, Challenger 850 or charters appropriate aircraft from Philippine Airlines. The aircraft with the flight number PR/PAL 001 and callsign PHILIPPINE 001 is a special aircraft operated by Philippine Airlines to transport the President.
During the Second World War, the presidential aircraft was a Mitsubishi MC-20. In the 1950s, PAF Douglas C-47 Skytrains, which were named Mount Pinatubo and Pagasa ("Hope") were used for domestic flights. Prior to 1962, the Air Force chartered aircraft from Pan American World Airways as the international services of Philippine Airlines were suspended. In 1963, the Pag-asa was renamed Common Man.
In 1986, the squadron of presidential aircraft consisted of: one Boeing 707, one BAC One-Eleven, one NAMC YS-11 and one Fokker F28 Fellowship airliner; along with one Sikorsky S-62A, two Bell UH-1N, one Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma and two Sikorsky S-70AS helicopters.
Between June 2010 and December 2018 the Government of Poland operated two Embraer ERJ-175LR (ERJ-170-200LR) leased from LOT Polish Airlines to carry out state flights. Since 2012 Polish Air Force 1st Airlift Air Base in Warsaw-Okecie operates VIP helicopters for domestic transportation and since 2018 the long range passenger jets. The HEAD instruction for organizing the flights within the Polish Armed Forces gives the HEAD flight status when there is the president, prime minister or the parliament speakers on board. The flights carried by LOT are operated with both the rules of the civil procedures and in line with the unofficial civil HEAD instruction.
Due to lack of the VIP fleet both the president and prime minister often used Polish Air Force EADS CASA C-295Ms for domestic flight and due to civil aviation restrictions. In 2016 the new polish government launched the VIP jets acquisition programme to procure small and medium size business jets. On 14 November 2016 the Polish Ministry of Defence signed the deal to buy two Gulfstream G550s. On 31 March 2017 Armament Inspectorate of Ministry of National Defence signed the deal with Boeing Company to supply three Boeing 737 airliners to replace Embraer 175s. The purchase includes a 132-seat Boeing 737-800 and two 65-seat Boeing BBJ2 planned for delivery in 2020. The first G550 was delivered on 21 June 2017. The Boeing 737-800 arrived in Warsaw on 15 November 2017. The aircraft are operated by Polish Air Force 1st Airlift Air Base.
From 1990 the Polish Air Force operated two modified Tupolev Tu-154M Lux, additionally a number of Yakovlev Yak-40 and PZL M28 Bryza fixed-wing aircraft, Mil Mi-8, PZL W-3 Sokół and Bell 412 helicopters were used by 36th Special Aviation Regiment in Warsaw. On 4 December 2003, a Polish Air Force Mil Mi-8 carrying the Polish prime minister crashed in a forest near Warsaw. Even though the helicopter was lost, all 15 people on board survived. Tu-154M tail number 101, carrying the President of Poland Lech Kaczyński, crashed in April 2010. The remaining Tu-154M and all Yak-40s were retired in 2011, while the 36th Regiment was disbanded.
The Portuguese Air Force operates three Dassault Falcon 50s for use by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, as well as cabinet members and other dignitaries when appropriate. They are operated by the 504 Squadron "Lynxes", based at the Lisbon Military Airfield (AT1).
Additionally, for similar use, the Portuguese Air Force maintained three Dassault Falcon 20s, bought from FedEx as cargo aircraft and converted to VIP configuration maintaining the outsized cargo door. These aircraft are no longer operational, the last one being used as an Aeronautical Navigation Calibration aircraft.
Romania operated one Boeing 707 for the Romanian President, a BAC 1-11 mostly for the prime minister, and a SA-365 Dauphin for internal transport. The operator of these flights was the Ministry of National Defense, the owner of Romavia.
As of 2016, Romania no longer has an official aircraft, but a project to acquire one or more has been approved.
At least one of the aircraft was refitted as a VIP transport in 2001 by a British company for a price of GBP 10 million. The aircraft has the word "Россия" displayed in large Cyrillic letters across the upper side. As pictures leaked to the Internet in 2007 indicate, the luxurious refit included gold-plated bathroom fittings, marble floors, silk-lined walls and other expensive amenities. The aircraft is reported to have an escape capsule, much like the one featured in the film Air Force One.
The Russian government fleet consists of the following aircraft (April 2016):
|Dassault Falcon 7X||2||—|
|Sukhoi Superjet 100||2||—|
The government of Rwanda leases Qatar Exclusive Gulfstream G650ER for travel
The Saudi royal family and government have multiple fleets of aircraft at their disposal. The Saudi Arabian Royal Flight operates a Boeing 747-300, a Boeing 747-400, a Boeing 757-200, an Airbus A340-200 and a Boeing 777-200ER for use by the King of Saudi Arabia.
In the mid-2010s the Saudi government struck a deal with Boeing to purchase two Boeing 787s, registrations HZ-MF7 and HZ-MF8 for exclusive use by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. These aircraft were not painted in the normal Saudia livery, but in the livery for aircraft operated by the Saudi Ministry of Finance and Economy. Other aircraft operated by the Saudi Ministry of Finance and Economy is 3 Boeing Business Jets and 3 Gulfstream G300s. Other aircraft operated by Saudi royals is 2 Boeing 737-700 BBJ and 1 Gulfstream G450 operated by the Saudi Air Force, painted in an all-white livery with a Saudi flag on the tail and green stripes across the fuselage, and aircraft operated by Saudi Aramco.
The Avio Service of Serbia is responsible for transporting the Serbian President, the Prime Minister and other Serbian government officials. It operates a Dassault Falcon 50 and a Learjet 31A. The Ministry of the interior uses a Sikorsky S-76. The government sometimes also uses Yakovlev Yak-40 aircraft of the Serbian Air Force. At the end of 2018 Serbia got an Embraer Legacu 600 registred YU-SRB.
The Slovak Government Flying Service operates two Airbus 319 – 115 ACE and two Fokker 100. The Slovak Government Flying Service operates also one helicopter Bell 429 for Slovak Police and two helicopters Mil-171 for use by the President, Prime Minister and government officials.
The Slovenian Armed Forces operate a Dassault Falcon 2000 EX for VIP transport, primarily of the President, Prime Minister, and members of the Government. The Government has decided in early 2015 to use the aircraft for medical transportation of body organs.
The President of South Africa travels in a Boeing 737 (BBJ) which is designated as “South Africa One” and operated by the South African Air Force's 21 Squadron, which is based at AFB Waterkloof near Pretoria, the executive capital, i.e. the seat of the executive branch of the South African government.
21 Squadron also operates a fleet of two Falcon 50 and a Falcon 900B Fleet, 550/1 Citation II, and a Global Express XRS is hired to escort the President on long flights as a back-up aircraft. The Falcon 900 is normally used by the Deputy President and high-ranking cabinet ministers.
In 2015 the South African president, president Jacob Zuma, had asked Armscor to procure a business jet with the capability of carrying at least 30 passengers and travel long range distances which is much larger than the current presidential jet (Inkwazi). Although still uncertain which private jet the presidency will choose jet models being considered include the Boeing 777, Boeing 787 and Airbus A340.
However, the President has chartered aircraft from various South African Airlines, such as Airbus A340 and A330 aircraft from South African Airways for long range travel and Avro RJ85 from Airlink for short distance travel. In the last three years of Zuma's presidency, he used a Gulfstream G550 for his overseas visits.
The Spanish Air Force operates two customized Airbus A310s, 5 Falcon 900, for transportation of the King, the Prime Minister, high-ranking government officials and the Spanish Royal Family. These transportation services are provided by the 45th Group of the Air Force, based in Torrejón Air Base, 24 kilometers (15 mi) away from Madrid. A new unit, an Airbus 330, is pending approval by the Council of Ministers of Spain. This will be the new official aircraft of the King and the Prime Minister. Usually when the Prime Minister and high ranking officials travel, they use the Airbus A310 and use 1 of the Falcon 900s as a support aircraft.
However, domestic travel for senior government officials and VIPs are provided by the No. 4 (VIP) Helicopter Squadron of the Sri Lanka Air Force using seven Bell 412EPs, Bell 206 or Mil Mi-17. Fixed wing transport aircraft of the Sri Lanka Air Force are used, such as the Y-12, Y-8 or C-130, in case of an emergency. In post-WW2 times,the de Havilland Heron, Douglas DC-3, de Havilland Dove, Westland WS-51 Dragonfly were used.
An Airbus A340-313 is chartered from Surinam Airways and has been used for international and long haul flights. For regional flights in the Caribbean, North-, Central-, and South America a Boeing 737-300 is also chartered from Surinam Airways. For domestic flights, a helicopter is chartered from Hi-Jet Helicopter Services.
The Swedish Air Force Transport Squadron Bromma (Stockholm), based on Stockholm-Bromma Airport in Stockholm Municipality, operates the State Flight (Swedish: Statsflyget). It forms part of the Transport and Special Flying Unit (TSFE, Swedish: Transport och Specialflygenheten), which in its turn is a part of the Skaraborg Air Force Wing (F 7). Currently it operates two Gulfstream IV aircraft and one Gulfstream G550 in the VIP transport role.
The Air Force also operates three Saab 340 in the VIP transport role.
The use of the State Flight is regulated in the State Flight Ordinance (Swedish: Statsflygsförordningen) issued by the Government of Sweden. All aircraft serve the official transport needs of the King and other members of the Swedish Royal Family, the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers, and senior Swedish Armed Forces officers.
- one Dassault Falcon 900EX, purchased from the government of Monaco
- one Cessna 560XL Citation Excel
- one Beechcraft 1900D
These aircraft are mainly used by members of the Swiss Federal Council. Travel arrangements are coordinated by the Government Travel Centre in the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The Cessna is to be replaced with a Swiss-built PC-24 of Pilatus Aircraft. The Beechcraft 1900D will be replaced in 2019 by two Canadair CL-604 previously operated by Rega. All of these aircraft are based at Bern Airport.
The 6th Air Transport Squadron, flying from the Alpnach Air Base, also operates two Eurocopter EC635 as VIP transport helicopters and has a number of Super Puma helicopters at its disposal, one of which is configured constantly as a VIP transport for domestic use and another one can be configured for VIP transport. Before the introduction of the EC635s, a Eurocopter Dauphin was used as a VIP helicopter.
|Dassault Falcon 900||1||—|
Air transportation for the President or other high-ranking officials of Taiwan (Republic of China) is operated by the Republic of China Air Force using a customized Boeing 737-800 delivered from Boeing in 2001 called the Air Force 3701. This aircraft operates out of Taipei's Songshan Airport and is not usually permitted to fly to countries without diplomatic relations with the ROC. Instead, a Boeing 747, Boeing 777 or Airbus A350 operated by China Airlines will be used, and is the type used for long-haul trips by the President and his/her staff. In addition, another three Fokker 50 turboprop perform the executive jet role for the Vice President of the Republic, premier, and other senior officials.
Although available upon their request, members of the royal family usually fly on commercial flights operated by the national carrier, Thai Airways International, when traveling outside of the kingdom.
The Thai government operates one Airbus A340-500, one Airbus A319CJ, and two Embraer ERJ-135LR's as government transports. The A340-500, A320CJ and the A319CJ are maintained by Thai Airways International, the Embraer ERJ-135LRs are maintained by Royal Thai Army.
The government of Tunisia operates a Boeing 737 BBJ bought in 1999 and registered under TS-IOO; in 2008 former President Ben Ali tried to replace it with a Airbus A340-542 registered TS-KRT, but he only used it once before he sent it back to France to change the interior design, meanwhile the 2010/2011 uprising in Tunisia ousted Ben Ali's regime and the Tunisian government sold the aircraft to the Turkish Government for 73 million € in 2016.
The government of Turkey has a VIP fleet which is maintained by Turkish Airlines for and on behalf of the President of the Republic. The fleet consists of two Airbus A319CJs, a highly modified and armed (with air defense missiles)[dubious ] Airbus A330-200 Prestige, an Airbus A340-500 High Gross Weight registered TC-CAN (can means life in Turkish) bought from the Tunisian Government after President Ben Ali (who originally ordered the plane to replace the Boeing BBJ) was ousted, and a highly modified and armed Boeing 747-8 which was formerly owned by the royal family of Qatar. The fleet additionally contains two Gulfstream G550s, two Gulfstream GIVs and two Cessna Citation Vs. When the President of the Turkish Republic is on board any aircraft, the call-sign is "Turkish Republic One". The Turkish President also has several Airbus Military A-400Ms which are used to transport the Presidential limousines and Turkish Secret Service Counter Attack Teams. Some A-400Ms can also provide aerial refueling for the Presidential fleet.[dubious ]
In addition, the Ugandan president uses a Mil Mi-171 of the Uganda People's Defence Force for internal flights. The helicopter was delivered in early 2016 after the government had budgeted 11.3 billion Ugandan Shillings for the new helicopter. It is equipped with a cloak room, snackbar, bathroom and luggage compartment and seats up to 12 passengers.
Ukraine Air Enterprise is a government owned airline that operates a single Airbus A319 and single Antonov An-148 used for VIP flights for the Ukrainian government. Both aircraft are based at Boryspil International Airport near Kiev. The airline started operations in 1996.
United Arab EmiratesEdit
Presidential Flight of the Abu Dhabi Emirate has six aircraft, the smallest being an Airbus A320-200 and the largest being a Boeing 777-300.
The Sharjah Royal Flight uses an Airbus A319 and Airbus A320.
The Fujairah Amiri flight has one aircraft, an Airbus A320.
Before 8 July 2016, the British PM, his delegation and his family did not have a personal aircraft. They travelled on aircraft borrowed from British Airways or Virgin Atlantic for non-European or long-haul flights, and on rented private jets for inter-European flights. In 2012, former Prime Minister David Cameron used one of Angolan petroleum airline SonAir's Boeing 747-400 on his four-day state visit to South-east Asia. On 8 July 2016, a newly converted RAF Voyager A330 was first used by the UK to transport government ministers from London Heathrow airport to the 2016 NATO conference in Warsaw, Poland. This new transport aircraft was reconfigured to have 158 seats but still retain its primary mission as an aerial tanker. The aircraft is also intended for use by members of the British royal family for official overseas visits.
No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron of the Royal Air Force maintains a fleet consisting of an Agusta A109SP helicopter and four British Aerospace 146 regional airliners to support travel by the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and senior members of the British Government, secondary to their military duties.
The Queen's Helicopter Flight uses a Sikorsky S-76+.
On visits to Commonwealth realms, which share the same monarch as the United Kingdom, reciprocal VIP aircraft of those countries are often used when transporting members of the Royal Family. Australia, Canada and New Zealand use VIP configured military aircraft for the Royal Family.
Air travel arrangements for the President are made by the White House Military Office and typically one of two customized Boeing 747-200B jetliners are used. These aircraft carry the military designation VC-25A.
The Vice President of the United States, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and other high-ranking officials typically use customized Boeing 757-200 and Boeing 737 aircraft which carry the military designation C-32A and C-40B. The President more often uses these aircraft instead of the VC-25A, as the C-32A and C-40B are twinjets that can carry a smaller air crew and use shorter runways, while the VC-25A is a four-engine jet that requires considerably longer runways for takeoff and landings.
|Boeing C-40 Clipper||1||—|
The callsign of any aircraft is regular if it is not currently carrying the President or Vice-President. The callsign of any military aircraft that currently carries the President is called that military branch name followed by "One", such as Army One, Air Force One, Navy One, or Marine One (which is typically associated with a helicopter). The callsign of any military aircraft that currently carries the Vice President is called that military branch name followed by "Two", such as Air Force Two, Coast Guard Two, or Marine Two (which is typically associated with a helicopter). In the one instance that the President traveled on a private aircraft its callsign was Executive One, and Vice President Rockefeller's private Gulfstream was Executive Two when he was on board during his term of office.
In addition, the US military maintains a fleet of Boeing C-40 Clippers (Boeing 737-700), C-37As (Gulfstream V) and C-37Bs (Gulfstream G550) for use by government officials, Members of Congress and the White House.
Correction: The B757-200 referred to above was sold to the Yemen Government, which is now their 7O-VIP.
Typically, the Pope flies on a chartered Alitalia fixed-wing aircraft when travelling to or from more distant destinations.[specify] Traditional protocol dictates that a Pope flies to a country he is visiting on a chartered Alitalia jet and to return on a jet belonging to a flag carrier from the visited nation; this may vary when he is touring multiple nations. When Pope John Paul II visited South America in May 1988, he travelled to Paraguay from Peru in an AeroPerú DC-8, but left Asunción International Airport back to Europe in a transcontinental Alitalia Boeing 747, which was brought in just hours before his farewell ceremony. Líneas Aéreas Paraguayas' longest-range aircraft at the time were Boeing 707-320Bs, which had to stop in Dakar, Senegal to refuel. However, he politely travelled within the country in a LAP jet, which incidentally carried the distinguished visitor's coat of arms in the forward fuselage as courtesy. Pope Benedict XVI also returned to Rome from Brazil on Alitalia.
The call sign of a papal flight within Italy is "volo papale" ("papal flight" in Italian) followed by the number of flights the pope has made. Pope John Paul II made 104 papal flights. The pope also uses a helicopter of the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare), an Agusta Westland AW139, for short distances. There are two papal heliports, with the Vatican City Heliport being on the tiny state's western corner, and another on the southern edge of the extraterritorial papal residence of Castel Gandolfo. The former bears the official Latin designation Portus Helicopterorum.
It is erroneously, but widely, believed and reported that international flights carrying the Pope use the callsign "Shepherd One". This is an urban myth, as the callsign is that of the carrying airline along with a number. Often a significant or meaningful number is chosen.
An Airbus A319CJ serves as the presidential transport of Venezuela. Former President Hugo Chavez often traveled on board an Ilyushin Il-96 aircraft owned by Cubana de Aviacion.An Embraer Lineage 1000 YV3016 from national air carrier Conviasa is used too. A fleet of about 15 Dassault Falcons 900EXes, Falcon 50s and Learjets 45s is used for high-ranking officials.
A Boeing 787-9 or Airbus A350-900 chartered from Vietnam Airlines is often used for international and long haul flights. For domestic and short haul flights, an Airbus A321 is chartered from Vietnam Airlines. When the prime minister is traveling aboard a Vietnam Airlines aircraft, the flight number assigned to the aircraft is VN1/HVN1.
Yemenia operated a VIP-configured Boeing 747SP registered 7O-YMN for use by the government of Yemen. The aircraft carried the Yemenia Yemen Airways livery. In March 2015, the Boeing 747SP was damaged by gun fire during a militia attack at Aden airport, and a subsequent blaze destroyed the aircraft completely. In August 2016, the internationally recognized government bought a Boeing 757-200 registered 7O-VIP that previously operated as a VIP transport for Uzbekistan Airways with UK75700 as its registration. The 757 underwent refit and repaint in Yemen government's livery at GMF AeroAsia's maintenance facility at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta, prior to delivery to Yemen.
Former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito used many aircraft during his term as president. The most notable aircraft types in service were the Douglas DC-6, Ilyushin Il-18, Sud Aviation Caravelle and Boeing 727.
First Zambian president, Kenneth Kaunda used to use a Douglas DC-8 of the now liquidated Zambia Airways among other national carriers. His departure from office saw the new president, Frederick Chiluba acquire a more modern look for government and thus the Challenger CL604 was acquired.
The President of Zimbabwe travels in a chartered Air Zimbabwe Boeing 767-200ER aircraft, which is part of the national airline's fleet. Occasionally, the president will share the aircraft with commercial passengers on scheduled flights. The president's own British Aerospace 146–200 Series aircraft ordered in the 1980s by the Zimbabwe Government's Ministry of Defence as a VIP aircraft for the President's use was leased to the national airline upon delivery after Air Zimbabwe's need for an aircraft that could land on the country's short local runways had become dire. The aircraft was leased to the airline under an arrangement that provided for Air Zimbabwe to maintain it and fly it as required, and the President to have the use of it when needed. After the British Aerospace 146–200 was retired, the national airline continued its role as a state VIP transporter, using the 767-200ER.
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Media related to Aircraft of heads of state and government at Wikimedia Commons
- Los aviones presidenciales más caros del mundo Clarín.com, 2016-07-05 (accessed 2019-02-17)