Gilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3073 posts, RR: 2 Posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 11580 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.
VV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7893 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10860 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!
Babybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10809 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.
ExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 6 days ago) and read 10402 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.
NQYGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8738 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.
DEVILFISH From Philippines, joined Jan 2006, 5027 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 8145 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.....
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.
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.
AFGMEL From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 747 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6523 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.
David_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7541 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4711 times:
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.
LHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4167 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.
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.
Planesarecool From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 4124 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days ago) and read 3807 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?
: That was not just a LHR BRU flight though, that plane then went on to do BRU SYD if I recall correctly.
: 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
: 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
: 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