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French Presidential Aircraft Fleet?

Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:46 pm


Looks like the G20 marks the inaugural flight of France's newest presidential jet, an A330-200 nicknamed in France Air Sarko One. With all sort of fuss around the cost of such a new toy etc... which imo is completely legitimate considering the state of the economy and public finances in France.

Anyway, that article below in the respectable Le Monde (in French) mentions that the A330 replaces the existing presidential aircraft, an A319, which suffers from some lack of range, and would have to stop between say, France and Korea.

I was browsing airfleets.net and as I thought, the French Air Force also operates 2 A340-200 and 3 A310s. I also thought the presidential aircraft was one of these recently acquired A340s.... but Le Monde gets me wrong.

So, any idea what these 5 big buses are used for? Did Le Monde get the story wrong or is France actually wasting money on yet a new jet while they could stick to the existing A340 fleet? (And come on Mr Sarkozy, an A330 is a great aircraft but it is just an A330, in no way it beats the beauty of an A340....)

[Edited 2010-11-11 11:47:17]
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French Presidential Aircraft Fleet?

Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:51 pm

The A340-211s and A310-304s are listed as Armée de l'Air transports, so they may not be configured for VIP transport like the new A330-223 is (and the existing A319-115 CJ).
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French Presidential Aircraft Fleet?

Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:06 pm

The A340s and A310s are fitted very basically with Y type seats and capacity to carry stretchers and things like that, they're used to carry soldiers, relief efforts, cargo, etc.

There are two A319CJ VIP planes, and I just saw the same BS about their lack of range on the 8pm national news, while in fact they have 12000Km range !

The problem is that they are reportedly "old" and one had an engine fail on the ground with Sarko on board, that's when he decided for a new plane.

He wanted it bigger to carry more people, journalists etc. That's kind of legitimate, considering often journalists would ride on a C-160 Transall, not really enjoyable except for us anutters ! However the bedroom, big bathroom, operating room, countermeasures, etc., are quite unnecessary, this isn't AF1, the French president isn't as important in our democracy as the American one is, he isn't as big a target either, the plane can't be refueled in flight so it's not like you have to plan for being on board days at a time, etc.

And of course there is only one A330, so when it breaks down or need maintenance, I guess it's back to the A319s. Might have made more sense to buy two A330 fitted more reasonably.

edit : there is also a fleet of Dassault Falcons.

[Edited 2010-11-11 13:07:37]
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