flydreamliner
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British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:51 am

Most nations' heads of government have their own private jets. The president of the US has the famous two 742's (when he's on them, they're Air Force One). China's President flies on a 763ER, etc. Britain's Prime Minister however doesn't have one. He flies on chartered Aircraft, sometimes privately chartered, but often he flies British, chatering one of their 777s. Why does he always fly British and never Virgin? Why always British? I've never understood this.
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:01 am

Isn't BA the National Airline of UK.
The Indian PM too has no long ranger,so travels AI.
regds
MEL
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MYT332
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:04 am

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 1):
Isn't BA the National Airline of UK.

As much as MyTravel is.
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flylondon
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:25 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
Most nations' heads of government have their own private jets.

No they don't.

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
Britain's Prime Minister however doesn't have one. He flies on chartered Aircraft

Then why were the papers going ape this morning over his reportedly overusing the BAE146 meant for the Queen?
 
Leezyjet
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:38 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
Why does he always fly British and never Virgin? Why always British? I've never understood this

Because VS just don't have enough a/c in the fleet to do this. Don't forget VS only has just over 30 a/c in the whole fleet. BA has more 777's than that !!.

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cayman
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:38 am

Quoting FlyLondon (Reply 3):
Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
Most nations' heads of government have their own private jets.

No they don't.

I think in fact most major nations do. Virtually all countries in latin America do, as do of course US, Canada, most European countries and I would assume the bulk of Asia and Africa.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 1):
The Indian PM too has no long ranger,so travels AI.

Correct me if I am wrong but if memory serves the Indian AF recently picked up a BBJ or something like that intended for the PM's travels.
 
Cruiser
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:25 am

I seem to remember reading that there was a little bit of bad blood between VS and the British Government when VS first started up as an airline. I suspect that this would also have a bearing on it.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong, because I read the SRB book over 5 years ago.

James
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Devilfish
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:25 am

Quoting FlyLondon (Reply 3):
Then why were the papers going ape this morning over his reportedly overusing the BAE146 meant for the Queen?

I believe most of the criticism was directed at the Environment Minister. There was a post that he stopped using the 146 in 2000. Please see other thread. www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/2715140/

Quoting CayMan (Reply 5):

I think in fact most major nations do. Virtually all countries in latin America do, as do of course US, Canada, most European countries and I would assume the bulk of Asia and Africa.

The bulk of Asia and Africa are poor, so only the remainder might qualify. As for the major nations and Latin America, I think the popular sentiments there are more receptive to such perks of office or position, in contrast with the Britishers dim view of such privileges. And just in case they change their minds, there's a nice BBJ here currently available.

Quoting CayMan (Reply 5):
or something like that intended for the PM's travels.

Wasn't it three, for the other VIPs as well?

[Edited 2006-04-12 23:37:28]
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
mutu
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:35 am

Quoting Cruiser (Reply 6):
I seem to remember reading that there was a little bit of bad blood between VS and the British Government when VS first started up as an airline. I suspect that this would also have a bearing on it.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong, because I read the SRB book over 5 years ago.

Nonesense I am afraid. The government of the time (under Thatcher) encouraged the creation of a second long haul carrier for the UK. If there was any falling out I am sure it would have long since been resolved.

The actual answer is simply the operators ability to release fleet. On shorthaul the PM has used various charter airlines, but typically as the criticism suggests, something out of the Queens Flight (to avoid confusion not actually hers, just the name given to the fleet which is available to the Head of State and senior politicians travelling on shorthaul business trips). On long haul there is only some tired Tristars and VC10 (this has been used by the PM but its a gas guzzler and dirty so not consistent with his save the planet rhetoric).

The second reason often given is that he travels representing Britain and so turning up on a jet with the word BRITISH in 8 ft tall letters is as close as it gets in the absence of a government plane

There is no real other reason
 
jamesbuk
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:43 am

Quoting Mutu (Reply 8):
The second reason often given is that he travels representing Britain and so turning up on a jet with the word BRITISH in 8 ft tall letters is as close as it gets in the absence of a government plane

also most people regard BA as the british official airline so its just makes sense and you can just imagine the pics of him standing there on a jetstairway with the giant words VIRGIN above him!!


Rgds --James--

[Edited 2006-04-12 23:51:08]
You cant have your cake and eat it... What the hells the point in having it then!!!
 
mutu
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:47 am

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 9):
also most people regard BA as the british official airline so its just makes sense and you can just imagine the pics of jim standing there on a jetstairway with the giant words VIRGIN above him!!

Good spot, and despite the saturation of the Virgin brand there are places in the world where it means nothing and as you (tongue in cheek ) point out, there would be no trip to Saudi Arabia on a Virgin jet for political sensibilities!!
 
flydreamliner
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:53 am

Quoting FlyLondon (Reply 3):
Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
Most nations' heads of government have their own private jets.

No they don't.

If I can clarify then, nearly every single first world or industrialized nation's heads of government does.

for instance

Canada's prime minister has an Airbus A310
Australia's Aiforce has a fleet of 737s and 707s from executive transport
Columbia's president has a 737-700BBJ
Brazil's President has a KC-137 (Boeing 707)
France has a fleet of Dassault Falcon 900s and Airbus A319s for executive transit.
Japan has two 747-400s for executive/royal transport
The Netherlands has a Fokker 70
China has a 747-400, 767-300ER, and a 737-800 for the premier/president and other officials
Switzerland keeps a Dassault 50 and a Learjet for executive transport
Germany has 2 Airbus A310's.

This is just what I could find in 5 minutes using google.

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 9):
also most people regard BA as the british official airline so its just makes sense and you can just imagine the pics of him standing there on a jetstairway with the giant words VIRGIN above him!!

Yes, I suppose, I suppose. It's just in my mind, VS is the premier British carrier. While "American" would be the airline you'd think of if the US president were to charter a plane, Continental in my opinion, is a far more prestigious line, even if it isn't "THE American carrier".

A few other examples I could think of where the state owns an airline, and it provides the aircraft......like Saudi Arabian.
"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
 
DavidT
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:55 am

While some people to insist on the contrary it's generally accepted BA is the national carrier for the UK especially given the history of the carrier.

VS's operation also compared to BA's is very small and so they're unlikely to be able to cope with an ac going out of service for a while.

While many people don't like the idea I'd quite like to see Blair Force One actually. Perhaps a 787. That'd do nicely Big grin
 
flydreamliner
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:42 am

Quoting DavidT (Reply 12):
While many people don't like the idea I'd quite like to see Blair Force One actually. Perhaps a 787. That'd do nicely

I agree completely. I was amazed that the British Prime minister did not have one. It's a huge matter of national prestige. Nearly everyone in the US knows Air Force One.

Which brings up, the US pres' Air Force One is getting old... another 10-15 years, it'll be due to be replaced. I'm wondering if they'll wait for Y3, or just get a 748 (extremely heavily modified)... I saw a documentary once that said the Air Force 1 747-200 were more than 3 times as expensive as a normal 742.
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NetworkDoc
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:43 am

Quoting Cruiser (Reply 6):
I seem to remember reading that there was a little bit of bad blood between VS and the British Government when VS first started up as an airline. I suspect that this would also have a bearing on it.

I think you mean the 'Dirty Tricks' campaign by BA against Virgin. That had nothing to do with the British Government.

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 9):
you can just imagine the pics of him standing there on a jetstairway with the giant words VIRGIN above him!!

 laughing  Hilarious thought!!!!!!

....and never mind the painting of a virtually naked 'Virgin girl' on each VS fuselage! - That'd go down a treat at Tony's next Iran nuclear talks!  duck 
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flydreamliner
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:59 am

Yeah, I think that's what you need. Blair needs to ride a Virgin jet out to Iran, and refuse to move it until they comply, Virgin girl and all. Hell, he can bring Sir Branson and his entorouge party from his carribbean island there too, that'll fix it.
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BCAL
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:15 pm

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
Why does he always fly British and never Virgin? Why always British? I've never understood this.

Leezyjet did give an explanation in Reply 4 that VS does not have sufficient spare aircraft but there are two further reasons: First, Branson has a legendary reputation to be mercenary, so he would never willingly loan any of his aircraft unless there were clear financial benefits; secondly, Branson has never forgiven Mr and Mrs Blair for promising him that he could run the UK Lottery and then Blair's Government promptly giving the franchise to Camelot rather than Virgin.

Quoting Mutu (Reply 8):
The government of the time (under Thatcher) encouraged the creation of a second long haul carrier for the UK.

Not true. Whilst a review of UK Civil Aviation then recommended that there be a second-force airline to compete with BA, Thatcher's Government did not follow their recommedations. Thatcher's Government was responsible for the conversion of BA to plc status. Until then sale was completed, BA had to be protected at all costs against competition on their home ground and this is why the Thatcher Government refused to intervene in the Laker crisis, allowed British Caledonian to be absorbed into BA, and allowed independents like Dan-Air and Air Europe to fold. The original LGW Virgin operation was a mess and would have followed Dan-Air etc into extinction. However, in the 1990s (after BA's conversion) Bermuda II was renegotiated and in return for AA and UA being allowed to replace PanAm and TWA as the permitted US carriers between LHR and USA, a second British airline was permitted to fly alongside BA. Apart from BD, VS was the only airline that then could operate long-hauls.

[Edited 2006-04-13 11:17:58]
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HAWK21M
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:29 pm

Quoting CayMan (Reply 5):
Correct me if I am wrong but if memory serves the Indian AF recently picked up a BBJ or something like that intended for the PM's travels.

Ordered not yet Delivered.The BBJs will replace the B732 from the Tom squadron.But no long rangers yet so the PM uses the B744s,One used + one on Standby from AI.
regds
MEL
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diesel1
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:19 pm

Quoting BCAL (Reply 16):
Branson has never forgiven Mr and Mrs Blair for promising him that he could run the UK Lottery and then Blair's Government promptly giving the franchise to Camelot rather than Virgin.

This is a statement that requires some clarification.

1) What has 'Mrs Blair' to do with it? Or is that simply a cheap shot at the PM?

2) The assertion that the lottery was going to be awarded to Virgin is incorrect. Branson's bid was part of 'The People's Lottery'.
He has stated there would have been no cashflow, nor brand 'halo' benefits for Virgin...

3) The award of the licence to run the lottery was awarded by the regulator OFLOT, not the government.
The challenge from Camelot following the award of it to 'The People's Lottery' resulted in the regulator resigning, and the license then being re-awarded to Camelot.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 16):
However, in the 1990s...a second British airline was permitted to fly alongside BA. Apart from BD, VS was the only airline that then could operate long-hauls

A small correction. At this point, afaik, BD did not have longhaul capability. This didn't occur until the A330s were delivered (though there is plenty of BD longhaul history prior to this).

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BCAL
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:04 pm

Quoting Diesel1 (Reply 18):
This is a statement that requires some clarification.

1) What has 'Mrs Blair' to do with it? Or is that simply a cheap shot at the PM?

Clarifications are spot on, but the extent to which the government was pulling the strings at OFLOT, and why SRB would want to run the lottery for no personal gain are anybody's guess. As regards Mrs Blair, whilst I do not have the source at hand, IIRC it was mentioned in Tom Bowers' book on Branson that Cherie Blair had mentioned to SRB that she would see what they could do about his bid for the franchise.

Quoting Diesel1 (Reply 18):
A small correction. At this point, afaik, BD did not have longhaul capability

Sustained. IIRC VS only had a handful of second-hand 747s at that time.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
vv701
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Fri Apr 14, 2006 6:44 am

According to information recently provided under The Freedom of Information Act, Tony Blair has flown in an aircraft of 32 (The Royal) Squadron (that has become colloquially known as 'The Queen's Flight') a total of 677 times since he was elected Prime Minister.

However, despite its formal and unofficial names, 32 Squadron is primarily an operational RAF Squadron and its aircraft are only available for use by HM The Queen, the Prime Minister or other Government Ministers when the nine planes and three helicopters that make up 32 Squadron are not required for operational duties. (Three 32 Squadron BAe 125 aircraft have served in Iraq.)

All 32 Squadron planes are short range - BAe 125s and BAe 146s. So on long haul flights the PM usually leases an aircraft. Often this is a BA aircraft. However on a recent visit to South Africa the UK government leased a Swiss VIP DC-8. Unfortunately it went tech at JNB. So Blair returned to the UK on a scheduled BA flight.
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:16 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 11):
Canada's prime minister has an Airbus A310
Australia's Aiforce has a fleet of 737s and 707s from executive transport
Columbia's president has a 737-700BBJ
Brazil's President has a KC-137 (Boeing 707)
France has a fleet of Dassault Falcon 900s and Airbus A319s for executive transit.
Japan has two 747-400s for executive/royal transport
The Netherlands has a Fokker 70
China has a 747-400, 767-300ER, and a 737-800 for the premier/president and other officials
Switzerland keeps a Dassault 50 and a Learjet for executive transport
Germany has 2 Airbus A310's.

add to that... New Zealand has two B757's but the PM often uses NZ and QF.

BA is the flag carrier of the UK so it makes sense to use their a/c.. it is expensive to have a/c set aside just for VIP's... In New Zealands case, it is used for other purposes too. The insides of the plane are quickly convertable (due to an oversize door on each a/c and quick remove seats) one day it'll be flying grunts in econony config, the next day PM and other ministers in premium config.
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GDB
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:49 am

VV701 has the arrangement of VIP flights for UK government (discussed incredibly often on here, literally every few weeks), just right.

But VS is the national carrier, if there is such a thing, only in the heads of Branson (and those who foolishly hang on his every word).

VS are a highly capable airline and a sign of how strong the UK airline sector is.
But BA, as well as predecessor BOAC, have carried out VIP flights for many decades, have/had VIP interior kits for most long range types in the past when needed, even when using RAF aircraft was more common than it is now.

Also, no matter how good VS is operationally, which it is, any VIP charter would have Branson milking it for all it's worth, rather vulgar don't you think?
 
Finkenwerder
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:55 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 11):
f I can clarify then, nearly every single first world or industrialized nation's heads of government does.

The answers obvious...because we're third world..!
 
Baexecutive
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 3:57 am

I personally am very proud of the fact that we do not have such a 'VIP' aircraft, it shows that our taxes can be used in other much more needed areas. Its a pity that the same couldn't be said about other countries that have private transport for there leaders!

To pun AA's adverts 'we fly more New Yorkers than any other airline and if we can keep them happy then.....'

BA's new adverts should read 'we fly more royalty than any other airline and if we can keep them happy then.....'7

J  Smile
 
vv701
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:16 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 22):
Also, no matter how good VS is operationally, which it is, any VIP charter would have Branson milking it for all it's worth, rather vulgar don't you think?

I think this probably hits the nail right on the head. And in these days of international terrorism the last thing Her Majesty's Government would want would be a public announcement from Branson a couple of days before the flight about how comfortable Tony and Cheerie were going to be when in the Five Mile High Club as they flew away in Upper Class on 'Miss Behavin' (the name of 346 G-VWKD). Discretion never was SRB's strongest attribute!
 
ba747yyz
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 7:38 am

The UK needs a VIP kong-range jet, if Canada can have one the UK needs one!

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 9):
also most people regard BA as the british official airline so its just makes sense and you can just imagine the pics of him standing there on a jetstairway with the giant words VIRGIN above him!!

That would be rather funny, can't imagine the controversy, what would John Stewart say?

Quoting GDB (Reply 22):
Also, no matter how good VS is operationally, which it is, any VIP charter would have Branson milking it for all it's worth, rather vulgar don't you think?

All too true!
 
GDB
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:33 am

The solution to a dedicated long range VIP transport, for senior government personnel, Royals, senior military personnel, IF one is needed, for me is quite obvious.
The RAF are set to have a fleet of A330-200 tankers, to replace VC-10/Tristar fleet.
Say 18 of these are procured. So have two more added, with the military crews, communications equipment, self defence equipment, but less the tanking hoses and associated gear.

Since VIP taskings are not everyday, these two A330's would be used also for training for the tanker crews (saving fully fitted tankers for operational use), support of the tanker units in personnel/logistics on deployment, disaster medevac with quick change for this role available.

The RAF are currently are getting ASTOR surveillance aircraft based on the Global Express biz jet, for No.5 Squadron, so adding a standard Global Express for training/support for the unit, could also provide a long range VIP when only a small party are travelling.

The two 32 Sqn BAe-146's are now 20 years old, while they won't have the cycles of an airline model, a replacement could be two A319CJ's, these would be the only 'full time' VIP airliners.
 
kdm
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:52 am

Does anyone know what Tony used to fly to Aussie/NZ/Indonesia etc last month for his "flying" visit.

It was a BA aircraft and I think (but it was at a distance) it was a 767?
 
Cruiser
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:59 am

Quoting BA747YYZ (Reply 26):
The UK needs a VIP kong-range jet, if Canada can have one the UK needs one!

Canada got theirs at a really good price though and it was practically brand new from Airbus when they got it. It should be noted that the Canada plane is also used for regular transport when not used for VIP...for example, it is regularly used to transport soldiers back from Afghanistan, or at least part of the trip!

James
Leahy on Per Seat Costs: "Have you seen the B-2 fly-by at almost US$1bn a copy? It has only 2 seats!"
 
vv701
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:39 am

Quoting Kdm (Reply 28):
Does anyone know what Tony used to fly to Aussie/NZ/Indonesia etc last month for his "flying" visit.

The same aircraft used by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to fly to Australia to open the Commonwealth Games, BA 777 G-YMMO.

The Blair flight (still with the first class cabin converted to Royal VIP specification with two full sized beds, a table and four chairs) was LHR-BRU (for an EU meeting) and then BRU-MEL (which established a new world record distance for a commercial flight although only 60 passengers were aboard) and then MEL-AUK. Here is the aircraft at BRU (with the Belgian flag) and AUK (with the New Zealand flag):

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aviationwiz
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:44 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 11):
Canada's prime minister has an Airbus A310
Australia's Aiforce has a fleet of 737s and 707s from executive transport
Columbia's president has a 737-700BBJ
Brazil's President has a KC-137 (Boeing 707)
France has a fleet of Dassault Falcon 900s and Airbus A319s for executive transit.
Japan has two 747-400s for executive/royal transport
The Netherlands has a Fokker 70
China has a 747-400, 767-300ER, and a 737-800 for the premier/president and other officials
Switzerland keeps a Dassault 50 and a Learjet for executive transport
Germany has 2 Airbus A310's.

Then South Africa has some BBJ's.
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kdm
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:59 am

Thanks VV701.

I had forgotten that Blair was in town when I flew out of NZ and saw the BA aircraft, I naively thought that BA had started flights to NZ (It has been a long time since I have lived in NZ)
 
cayman
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:55 am

Quoting Cruiser (Reply 29):
Canada got theirs at a really good price though and it was practically brand new from Airbus when they got it. It should be noted that the Canada plane is also used for regular transport when not used for VIP...for example, it is regularly used to transport soldiers back from Afghanistan, or at least part of the trip!

There are actually a few A310s in the fleet---5 I think and one is specially outfitted for PM exeuctive suite, sleeping quarters etc. This was the aircraft that the former PM Mulroney ordered fitted and then in a cheap political stunt wannabe PM Jean Chretien nicknamed it the 'Taj Mahal.' Once elected Chretien feared egg on his face if he used that particular a/c and the pres decided to call him on it so instead, he typically used an alternate 310--meaning a regular rotation A310 that should have been used for reg duties was pulled out of service for Chretien's long haul travels whilst the dedicated exec version sat--all so Chretein could avoid embarassment. he shouldn't have taken the cheap political shot in the first place.

After Chretien left office new PM (and now recently defeated) Paula Martin started utlizing it for foreign trips and I presume the new PM Harper has used it to go to Afganistan and Mexico. I would hope so, that is the aircraft's primary purpose and it should be so used.

The Canadian PM is not permitted to fly commercially for RCMP security procedures and on internal travel there are also several Challengers used. The A310 is rarely if ever used for flights within Canada.

And actually although they bought the 310s cheap it is not as though they were the first executive long haul a/c in Canadian Forces---before there were B707s.
 
Devilfish
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:06 pm

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 11):
Brazil's President has a KC-137 (Boeing 707)

Brazil now has an Airbus ACJ.

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[Edited 2006-04-15 05:14:43]
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Cruiser
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:32 pm

Quoting CayMan (Reply 33):
There are actually a few A310s in the fleet---5 I think and one is specially outfitted for PM exeuctive suite, sleeping quarters etc. This was the aircraft that the former PM Mulroney ordered fitted and then in a cheap political stunt wannabe PM Jean Chretien nicknamed it the 'Taj Mahal.' Once elected Chretien feared egg on his face if he used that particular a/c and the pres decided to call him on it so instead, he typically used an alternate 310--meaning a regular rotation A310 that should have been used for reg duties was pulled out of service for Chretien's long haul travels whilst the dedicated exec version sat--all so Chretein could avoid embarassment. he shouldn't have taken the cheap political shot in the first place.

There are 5, all of which are based out of the 437 Squadron ,Trenton, ON. That was a good summary of the fleet, however, the VIP plane just doesn't sit idle all the time. It is actually used to transport troops and the like (like the other 2 passnger versions) when it is not being used by the PM. This came directly from the load master on that plane.


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James
Leahy on Per Seat Costs: "Have you seen the B-2 fly-by at almost US$1bn a copy? It has only 2 seats!"
 
baguy
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:29 am

BA is officialy the national flag carrier of England
 
flybaby
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:45 am

Bill Clinton sometimes liked to use Al Gore's plane(s)... the C-32 (an updated version of the 752 which entered service in '98). It has good range (10,000Km+) and can operate from airports the 742 (VC-25A) can't. It is also much more fuel efficient than the 742 besides being much quieter and having newer avionics
 
N1120A
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:03 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Thread starter):
The president of the US has the famous two 742's (when he's on them, they're Air Force One).

Actually, I there are 5 742s in the Air Force fleet. 2 VC-25As and 3 E-4Bs. BTW, the E-4Bs are significantly older.

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 17):
Ordered not yet Delivered.The BBJs will replace the B732 from the Tom squadron.But no long rangers yet so the PM uses the B744s,One used + one on Standby from AI.

The BBJ is a rather long range aircraft and can get pretty much anywhere in the world from India with just one stop. I don't see why they don't just deck one out for the PM and quit messing up the schedules at AI.

Quoting FlyBaby (Reply 37):
Bill Clinton sometimes liked to use Al Gore's plane(s)... the C-32 (an updated version of the 752 which entered service in '98).

The C-32s were not "Al Gore's planes". They are VIP Air Force transports and are the President's planes whenever he sees fit. They are Air Force One when the President is aboard
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flydreamliner
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:06 am

Bill Clinton was fond of visiting small towns. ... Also, the C-32 limited how much press could come too. Ol' George W Flies the 742, everywhere. Go figure.

Little known fact, Boeing atleast (i'm guessing Airbus too) gives heads of states an incredible discount to have the prestige. Boeing charged next to nothing for the 742s for AF1. Also, a VIP transport allows for a higher degree of security.
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N1120A
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:08 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 39):
Boeing charged next to nothing for the 742s for AF1.

Oh really? The estimates put the price tag for the VC-25As at 3 times the list price of a 742B
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
vv701
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:59 am

Quoting Baguy (Reply 36):
BA is officialy the national flag carrier of England

Not according to Richard Branson. All of VS's aircraft carry this inscription:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John Farrington - FlightLineImages


And, of course, if BA was 'officially the national flag carrier of England' (or even officially the national flag carrier of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) this inscription would not be 'officially' allowed.
 
BoomBoom
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:40 am

There is this article in today's Independent that says Blair will purchase a 737 or A320 BJ

Quote:
Tony Blair is to announce within weeks that he has overruled Gordon Brown and will push ahead with the purchase of a £30m long-haul business jet.

He is being backed strongly by the Royal Family in a battle with the Treasury, which has balked at the price tag.

Mr Blair may be tempted to present the new jet as a gift to the Queen on her official birthday on 12 June.

The field of candidates for the jet - which will inevitably be dubbed Blair Force One - has been narrowed to two potential planes, an Airbus A320 and a Boeing 737.

Neither could hope to compete with the US presidential plane, Air Force One, however. The giant triple-decked Boeing VC-25 even has its own gym.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article358019.ece

What is a "VC-25"?
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flybaby
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:17 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 42):
What is a "VC-25"?

The US air force model number designation for the president's 742-based airplane.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 38):
The C-32s were not "Al Gore's planes". They are VIP Air Force transports and are the President's planes whenever he sees fit. They are Air Force One when the President is aboard

Right, any govt. official that's allowed to could use it. However, it is very often used by the vice president (then it becomes known as "air force two").
 
RICARIZA
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Mon Apr 17, 2006 1:54 am

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 11):
If I can clarify then, nearly every single first world or industrialized nation's heads of government does.

for instance

Columbia's president has a 737-700BBJ

ColOmbia please.. Columbia is the district where Washington DC is located.



Also, Venezuela has a A-319, Mexico a B-757 and Chile and Peru have a B-737 each.
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GDB
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:39 am

BoomBoom, I should caution that such stories appear in the press very often, so far they've all been false.

You probably don't know (why should you?) about the mounting political scandal here about 'Payments for Peerages', ie. Chucking the governing party some cash and getting a seat in the House Of Lords.
If true, it breaks an 80 year rule, we are talking police investigations here.

So announcing what would be seen by many people (and all of the press), as an extravagance like a new, dedicated VIP transport, would be politically extremely stupid to say the least, whatever the merits or otherwise of such an aircraft.
 
baguy
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:52 am

VV701,
That's how I have always understood it, and if Virgin is the UK's national flag carrier, why does the Queen etc. always go BA.If BA isn't still the national flag carrier, it was until it was bought out by somebody else (It was originally a state airline)
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Mon Apr 17, 2006 4:11 am

Quoting BCAL (Reply 16):
Not true. Whilst a review of UK Civil Aviation then recommended that there be a second-force airline to compete with BA, Thatcher's Government did not follow their recommedations. Thatcher's Government was responsible for the conversion of BA to plc status. Until then sale was completed, BA had to be protected at all costs against competition on their home ground and this is why the Thatcher Government refused to intervene in the Laker crisis, allowed British Caledonian to be absorbed into BA, and allowed independents like Dan-Air and Air Europe to fold. The original LGW Virgin operation was a mess and would have followed Dan-Air etc into extinction. However, in the 1990s (after BA's conversion) Bermuda II was renegotiated and in return for AA and UA being allowed to replace PanAm and TWA as the permitted US carriers between LHR and USA, a second British airline was permitted to fly alongside BA. Apart from BD, VS was the only airline that then could operate long-hauls.

Apart from Laker Airways collapse, all the other events happened after BA was privatised. Yes, the BCal takeover was controversial, but at the time the way routes had been divided meant there was little competition, i.e. BCal operated to North and West Africa, Saudi Arabia and the Southern USA - routes BA couldn't operate. It was allowed to enable BA to have a global network. Virtually every longhaul route VS operates is an established one with very good flows, etc. As for BD, it was building up its presense at LHR throughout the 1980s, competing with BA domestically and on European flights - and doing so very successfully.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 20):
According to information recently provided under The Freedom of Information Act, Tony Blair has flown in an aircraft of 32 (The Royal) Squadron (that has become colloquially known as 'The Queen's Flight') a total of 677 times since he was elected Prime Minister.

However, despite its formal and unofficial names, 32 Squadron is primarily an operational RAF Squadron and its aircraft are only available for use by HM The Queen, the Prime Minister or other Government Ministers when the nine planes and three helicopters that make up 32 Squadron are not required for operational duties. (Three 32 Squadron BAe 125 aircraft have served in Iraq.)

All 32 Squadron planes are short range - BAe 125s and BAe 146s. So on long haul flights the PM usually leases an aircraft. Often this is a BA aircraft. However on a recent visit to South Africa the UK government leased a Swiss VIP DC-8. Unfortunately it went tech at JNB. So Blair returned to the UK on a scheduled BA flight.

Very true, 32 Squadron does only operate shorthaul aircraft. It's only really since Blair came to power that the VC-10s fell out of favour as VIP transports, largely because of their Rolls Royce Conway engines (Noise, etc). I remember one of the early episodes of Airport with the VIP VC-10 arriving at LHR and leaving with the PM. The inbound flight used the callsign "Kitty" but the outbound flight used the callsign "Kitty Hawk" to signify VIP on board. Now government and the Royal family charter aircraft. The Queen and the PM usually use BA, but the Prince of Wales generally uses PrivatAir. Matter of choice, value, etc.

The controversy over government use of 32 Suadron is Ministers using it to drop them off at their local airport, on flights such as LON-BRU or LON-MAN, and to take them on holiday (Blair been a bad offender here).

Quoting VV701 (Reply 41):
Not according to Richard Branson. All of VS's aircraft carry this inscription:

Sorry, but that's another of Branson's publicity stunts. Prior to the BA World Tails the flying lady was draped in a Virgin Flag. After the uproar over BA dropping the Union Flag from its tails Branson replaced the Virgin Flag with the Union Flag and added the logo as a dig at BA. It doesn't show that VS is the UK's flag carrier. Incidentially, the uproar the World Tails caused showed that many in the UK saw BA as the national airline, as at the time many said why was it dropping the flag from is aircraft? Says more than Branson's publicity stunt.
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vv701
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:41 am

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 47):
Quoting VV701 (Reply 41):
Not according to Richard Branson. All of VS's aircraft carry this inscription:

Sorry, but that's another of Branson's publicity stunts. Prior to the BA World Tails the flying lady was draped in a Virgin Flag. After the uproar over BA dropping the Union Flag from its tails Branson replaced the Virgin Flag with the Union Flag and added the logo as a dig at BA. It doesn't show that VS is the UK's flag carrier. Incidentally, the uproar the World Tails caused showed that many in the UK saw BA as the national airline, as at the time many said why was it dropping the flag from is aircraft? Says more than Branson's publicity stunt.

The term 'flag carrier' dates back prior to the formation of commercial airlines. It described which flag a specific merchant ship flew on its stern which in turn decreed by which country's laws the activities of the ship were constrained. To avoid such regulations many ships were registered under 'flags of convenience' - mainly in Liberia or Panama.

When the civil airline business started the same term and rules were applied to aircraft. So all aircraft licensed to operate as passenger airliners or freighters and carrying a 'G-' prefixed registration are 'British flag carriers' and operate throughout the world under the regulations drawn up by the British CAA (Civil Aircraft Authority). However these particular regulations do not require the Union Flag to actually be displayed on the aircraft.

Likewise all civil airliners with a 'D-' prefixed registration are German flag carriers. But here it is a requirement that the German flag is displayed on the aircraft. Hence all German registered aircraft are both legally and literally German flag carriers. So if you search the photo database by inputting 'Airbus' under aircraft type and 'XFW' under location you will retrieve a whole load of images of aircraft not yet delivered by Airbus carrying German test registrations. Each one has a German flag painted, taped or decaled on both sides of its fuselage. Each one will be in the partial or full livery of the airline for which it has been manufactured.

So a 'flag carrier' is not an airline but all aircraft and the 'flag' is that of the country whose civil aviation regulations it operates under. Hence all VS and all BA and all other British registered airliners are British flag carriers.
 
flydreamliner
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RE: British Prime Minister Aircraft

Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:05 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 40):
Oh really? The estimates put the price tag for the VC-25As at 3 times the list price of a 742B

Yes, really. Despite the fact Boeing overshot their estimate for the aircraft by more than twice (due to having to rewire with EMP shielded wire, which didn't fit, and a number of other specialty modifications, they didn't charge another penny over their estimate. Compared to what it cost to build, the airforce paid next to nothing. Boeing was happy enough to have the most powerful man in the world flying on their aircraft, they just ate it. I own a documentary on it......

I guess Boeing was happy the USAF didn't buy a DC-10 or L-1011 or another long-hauler made by someone else.

Now that there is only one maker of large commercial jets in the US, I think we know who will be making the president's plane in the future as well.
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