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Gordon Brown Flying Back From NYC On A Virgin 747  
User currently offlineGilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3021 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 11382 times:

Just saw on the news Gordon Brown getting off a Virgin Atlantic 747 after his visit to NYC and the UN,

I thought the UK government always used BA for official duties like this?...

Is this new Gordon Brown flying on Virgin Atlantic and was this a commercial flight from with EWR or JFK with possibly part of the cabin shut off to the public? Otherwise hiring a 747 is a lot of metal to charter for one Prime Minister and a few officials.

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5659 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 11310 times:



Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
Just saw on the news Gordon Brown getting off a Virgin Atlantic 747 after his visit to NYC and the UN,

VS have the contract. See:

Virgin Grabs BA Goverment Contract! (by Readytotaxi Aug 16 2009 in Civil Aviation)?threadid=4520229&searchid=4525879&s=vs+ba+contract#ID4525879

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 11092 times:

That's better as it stops BA looking like an extension of government and therefore less of a political target.

I'm surprised they didn't dig out a RAF jet for him though.

It's just my opinion but I think it looks good for ministers to use normal transport. The same should apply to all company chairmen too.


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7193 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11077 times:



Quoting Babybus (Reply 2):
The same should apply to all company chairmen too.

Do you mean private companies or companies funded with public funds?


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 10662 times:



Quoting Babybus (Reply 2):
It's just my opinion but I think it looks good for ministers to use normal transport.

This woulds be hugely anti-propductiuve and probably more costly.

With Ministers activities frequently split between the EU (usually Brussels or Strasbourg) and London (Westminster and Whitehall) the use of scheduled air transport would require many costly overnight stays that are avoided by the use of leased or own (RAF) transport. And neither the politicians or the civil servants would be at their desks back home the following morning. And we are not talking just a couple of rooms with the number of supporting Civil Servants who need to go on these trips to keep the politicians briefed.

For long haul the Government leases the whole aircraft, fills, plus or minus, half of it with the Politicians and Civil Servants who need to be on the trip and then sell the remainng seats to the media. This helps subsidise the cost of travel and it should not be surprising to know that a nearly full chartered 744 costs less then booking the same number of seats of a commercial scheduled flight.

Nothing is quite as straight forward as it first seems!


User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 10611 times:



Quoting VV701 (Reply 4):
the use of scheduled air transport would require many costly overnight stays that are avoided

MP's tend to be costly anyway. They can put it on their expense accounts. Overnight stays are not so unproductive. It gives them time to negotiate things in an informal manner and doesn't insult the host.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 4):
And neither the politicians or the civil servants would be at their desks back home the following morning.

It's highly unlikely they turn up the next day. If they did, they get half the year off to recuperate. It's not such a difficult life.

One of the problems with politicians is that they think they are super-human and above they people they represent. Travelling on VS or BA with the public they serve, would help to keep their feet on the ground. So to speak.  Wink


User currently offlineExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10204 times:



Quoting Babybus (Reply 2):
I'm surprised they didn't dig out a RAF jet for him though.

RAF doesn't really have anything suitable any more, do they?

32 Sq.'s largest plane is the BAe146, and AFAIK there's no capability any more to outfit one of the Tristars or VC10s for VIP transport any more...I believe the VC-10s are all permanently fitted as tankers.


User currently offlineNQYGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8540 times:



Quoting ExFATboy (Reply 6):
32 Sq.'s largest plane is the BAe146, and AFAIK there's no capability any more to outfit one of the Tristars or VC10s for VIP transport any more...I believe the VC-10s are all permanently fitted as tankers.

There is minimal seating in them up front, though only a maximum of around 12 IIRC.

I do remember watching an episode of BBC Airport when they were filming in the tower at LHR- the controller cleared a VC-10 for take-off with then PM Tony Blair in. So it has been done.


User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4834 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7947 times:

Quoting VV701 (Reply 4):
With Ministers activities frequently split between the EU (usually Brussels or Strasbourg) and London (Westminster and Whitehall) the use of scheduled air transport would require many costly overnight stays that are avoided by the use of leased or own (RAF) transport.

This should suffice for those jaunts, and the occasional 'low- key' trip across the pond not requiring a big party.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...eting-a318-for-vip-conversion.html

Quote:
"BAE Systems has won a mandate to remarket a five-year-old Airbus A318, which it says is ideal for conversion to a VIP or corporate configuration. The CFM International CFM56-powered twinjet was built in August 2003 and has accumulated 10,397 cycles. BAE is offering to arrange access to a corporate interior design house and is making a conversion slot available for the aircraft."

As posted by AirframeAS in the other thread.....

The F9 animals "rumoured" going to the dismantlers are another possibility. The aforementioned birds might even be retrofittable with the steep approach protocol for operation at LCY.

Quoting ExFATboy (Reply 6):
RAF doesn't really have anything suitable any more, do they?

32 Sq.'s largest plane is the BAe146, and AFAIK there's no capability any more to outfit one of the Tristars or VC10s for VIP transport any more...

Until the KC30 MRTTs come on line, 10 Downing or the Royals would have to settle for VS or BA for large-delegation, long-haul travel needs. Or TG's A345s.  Smile

[Edited 2009-09-26 14:27:50]


"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineAFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 7575 times:

I am sure I am not alone in thinking it ludicrous that a G8 leader doesn't have his own aircraft.


B 727-44/200 732/3/4/8/9 767-3 742/3/4, 772/3, A319/20/21 332/333 342/3 , DC3/4/10, F28/50/100, ATR72
User currently offlineFlyDeltaJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7319 times:
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Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 9):
I am sure I am not alone in thinking it ludicrous that a G8 leader doesn't have his own aircraft.

I agree. How long in advance do the take a plane that is planned for his flight out of service.



The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineKl911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5136 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7162 times:



Quoting AFGMEL (Reply 9):
I am sure I am not alone in thinking it ludicrous that a G8 leader doesn't have his own aircraft.

Why? To use it oncs a year to speak at the UN? I'm surprised he didn't fly a regular VS flight , Business class, to NYC. It's was just him and his wife right?


User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8371 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6733 times:
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Think its great the British PM is NOT flying BA, Virgin is a much better ambassador for Britiain.

User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Reply 13, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6418 times:



Quoting Kl911 (Reply 11):
It's was just him and his wife right?

No.

The British Foreign Secretary, David Milliband was one of about 10 VISIBLE support staff sitting behind the PM at the New York UN General Assembly meeting (who admittedly included the British Ambassador to the UN who was already in New York City).

Alistair Darling, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer was not at the UN but was a significant participant at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh.

With all the support Civil Servants as well as security and other functions I doubt if the Government party that flew out and back with Brown numbered less than 100. And then, as I mentioned before, there are all the media representatives who buy their seats from the Government.


User currently offlineAFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6325 times:



Quoting Kl911 (Reply 11):

Why? To use it oncs a year to speak at the UN?

Not just that. Plenty of trips both near and far. At the very least an A321 or BBJ. Believe me when I tell you that I do not advocate government waste, but it's a waste of time flying commercial in that senior position. Rather than sitting in the lounge he can work on the aircraft in an office with staff, computers, secure comms etc. Waste of time IMO.



B 727-44/200 732/3/4/8/9 767-3 742/3/4, 772/3, A319/20/21 332/333 342/3 , DC3/4/10, F28/50/100, ATR72
User currently offline9VSIO From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 717 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4742 times:
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Quoting Kl911 (Reply 11):
I'm surprised he didn't fly a regular VS flight , Business class, to NYC. It's was just him and his wife right?

I have yet to read of any world leader who goes on an official government trip with just him and his partner, no bodyguards etc. Does the CZE PM do that?



Me: (Lining up on final) I shall now select an aiming point. || Instructor: Well, I hope it's the runway...
User currently offlineDavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7377 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4513 times:
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Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 12):
Virgin is a much better ambassador for Britiain.

On what basis? Number of countries flown to? Number of aircraft in their fleet? Length of time they've been in existence? BA beats them hands down. Perhaps it tells us more that VS is in greater need of this kind of income boost due to poor financial returns running commercial services than BA is.

Quoting 9VSIO (Reply 15):
I have yet to read of any world leader who goes on an official government trip with just him and his partner, no bodyguards etc.

Even that time the Blairs flew on FR on holiday, I daresay there was a smattering of security staff scattered throughout the cabin so I wouldn't rule out all trips being made as secure as possible. If the UK were to get a dedicated aircraft for use by high-ranking officials and royalty, imagine the fuss that would be made of using a government-owned aircraft for non-offiicial use.


User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7703 posts, RR: 21
Reply 17, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4351 times:
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It's good that he is using scheduled airlines, but I would rather he didn't fly at all and came crawling back on his hands and knees.


✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4196 times:



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 17):
It's good that he is using scheduled airlines, but I would rather he didn't fly at all and came crawling back on his hands and knees.

Was not really scheduled, the flight was chartered so was only him other goverment staff on board.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3585 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3988 times:



Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 12):

Think its great the British PM is NOT flying BA, Virgin is a much better ambassador for Britiain.

Why ? By taking 744 loads of football shirted chavs to Orlando and Vegas thus giving the impression that the UK is full of grunting drunk neanderthals ?

I hope David Cameron likes flying VS, as he's going to get more use from this contract than Gordon Brown  Big grin  Big grin  Big grin  Big grin


User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3969 times:



Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 12):
Think its great the British PM is NOT flying BA, Virgin is a much better ambassador for Britiain.

Why? BA have a very good world wide and European network where as VS is a limited international carrier, so what do the goverment use when traveling on Euro trips? Would not be good to see a 747 being flown on Euro trips with about 60 or 70 goverment officials on it, would not be seen in a good light.


User currently offlineDEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 4834 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3835 times:



Quoting 9VSIO (Reply 15):
Quoting Kl911 (Reply 11):
I'm surprised he didn't fly a regular VS flight , Business class, to NYC. It's was just him and his wife right?

I have yet to read of any world leader who goes on an official government trip with just him and his partner, no bodyguards etc. Does the CZE PM do that?

This would be very sparsely populated with just a couple and the crew on board.....

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Peter Tsagaris - CYOW Airport Watch




"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
User currently offlineFcogafa From United Kingdom, joined May 2008, 799 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3783 times:



Quoting David_itl (Reply 16):
Perhaps it tells us more that VS is in greater need of this kind of income boost due to poor financial returns running commercial services than BA is.

I'm not convinced that Virgin are making too much money out of this, they supposedly undercut BA's offer by 20 percent. Usual publicity stunt by VIR.

It is embarrassing that the UK Govt does not have at least an A319/BBJ. It is all down to the Govt being afraid of the tabloid newspapers screaming every time such a thing is suggested.


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Reply 23, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3725 times:



Quoting LHR380 (Reply 20):
so what do the goverment use when traveling on Euro trips?

Whatever it takes. 772s and, indeed, 346s are quite capable of managing an LHR-BRU flight. Here is just one example:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Wim Callaert


As I have said before on this thread, those that think just Gordon and Sarah were on board last week's chartered VS aircraft could not be wider from the mark. For major meetings, including those in Brusses, the number of politicians and Civil Servants will run well into three figures.

So BRU and possibly SXB spotters can look forward to seeing the occasional VS aircraft in the future.


User currently offlinePlanesarecool From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 4121 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3609 times:



Quoting Fcogafa (Reply 22):
It is embarrassing that the UK Govt does not have at least an A319/BBJ. It is all down to the Govt being afraid of the tabloid newspapers screaming every time such a thing is suggested.

Is it? What would be the point in getting an aircraft that would spend a great deal of time sitting around doing nothing when BA and VS already have aircraft that do just that?


25 LHR380 : That was not just a LHR BRU flight though, that plane then went on to do BRU SYD if I recall correctly.
26 DavidByrne : Have I missed something here? Isn't keeping the cost of flying around public officials as low as possible supposed to be in the public interest? If i
27 Post contains links and images VV701 : I think you may be thinking of G-YMMO, not 'MP pictured in my Reply 23. It was this second aircraft pictured here leaving BRU for Australia: View Lar
28 Post contains links DEVILFISH : I suppose those traveling on the people's dime would have little to complain about (not too sure with the bigwigs) if provided with something like th
29 OtnySASLHR : Who cares??
30 Evomutant : Evidently, by the replies, a fair number of people. You yourself "cared" enough to not only open the thread but post a flippant response to it.
31 Shankly : Virgin publicity stunt? Gordon Brown? Thats a mis-placed stunt. Politics aside, the Prime Minister of this country should be able to travel in comfor
32 Post contains links and images YOWza : There seems to be some back and forth as to whether the UK should have an executive fleet. I think the Canadian model works quite well: CC150s as both
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