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.

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History[edit]

The Airspeed Envoy was used as air transport for the Royal Family from 1937 onwards.

On 15 July 1910, during a visit to Belgium, Ferdinand I Tsar of Bulgaria became the first head of state to fly in an airplane [1] 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 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 the aircraft.

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.[2] 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.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt's C-54 Skymaster aircraft, nicknamed the Sacred Cow.

In the U.S., 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.[3][4]

The first dedicated aircraft proposed for presidential use was a C-87A VIP transport aircraft. This aircraft, 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.[5] 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.[4]

In the postwar period, governments around the world have instituted similar provisions for the official aerial transportation of their heads of state and government.

Algeria[edit]

Algerian Government Airbus A340-500

The government of Algeria operated an Airbus A340-500 in 2015.[6]

Angola[edit]

The government of Angola operated a Bombardier Global Express in 2015.[7]

Argentina[edit]

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 Military House. This was responsible for the presidential security and transportation. The 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:

Armenia[edit]

The Armenian Government operated an Airbus A319 in 2015.[9]

Australia[edit]

An RAAF Boeing 737 BBJ at Sydney Airport

No. 34 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force operates the current VIP fleet of two 737 Boeing Business Jets and three Challenger 604s for use by Australian officials; in particular the Queen of Australia, Governor-General, members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the leaders of political parties not in Government, and the Deputy Prime Minister. The aircraft are regularly used for both domestic and international travel.

The two 737 BBJs were acquired on a 13-year lease in 2002 and are fitted with facilities such as conference tables, offices suites and secure satellite and communication capabilities. The two planes also have a longer range than is standard for 737 BBJs. Both the BBJs and Challengers are based at Defence Establishment Fairbairn in Canberra and are maintained by Qantas Defence Services.

In August 2014 it was announced the BBJ's would be replaced by at least one KC-30A in VIP configuration.[10]

Azerbaijan[edit]

The President of Azerbaijan has 3 planes 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".[11] All 3 aircraft are equipped with jamming equipment, anti-missile systems, and possess the ability to refuel in midair.

Bangladesh[edit]

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

The President and the Prime Minister of Bangladesh travel on specially reserved aircraft of 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 on 29 September 2016.[12] In many cases, two Biman aircraft are reserved for government flights, one as a standby aircraft.

The Bangladesh Air Force has a VVIP fleet of four helicopters, two Mil Mi-17 and two Bell 212 helicopters. One is always reserved for VVIP flights. The other three are for carrying the staff and entourage.

Bahrain[edit]

Bahrain Royal Flight Boeing 747SP

The Bahrain Royal Flight operates a Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 747SP. Also still listed is a Boeing 727. In 2013 they acquired the only VIP 767-400 in the world, which originally was the prototype Northrop Grumman E-10 MC2A. 2 Gulfstream IV, 1 Gulfstream G450, 1 Gulfstream G550 and 1 Gulfstream G650. Also 3 helicopters include: 1 Sikorsky S-92, 1 Sikorsky S-76 and 1 Bell 430. A British Aerospace 146 Avro RJ85 was also bought second-hand.

Dates of delivery or order: 1 Gulfstream IVSP delivery 1998, 1 Gulfstream IV delivery 2000, 1 Gulfstream G450 delvery 2009, 1 Gulfstream G550 delivered 2010, 1 Gulfstream G650 delivered 2014, 1 Bell 430 delivery 2001, 1 Sikorsky S-92 ordered 2007 1 Sikorsky S-76 delivered 2012?

Belarus[edit]

Boeing 737-800BBJ operated by Belavia on behalf of the Government of Belarus.

The airline Belavia operates a Boeing 767-300ER, a Boeing 737 Business Jet, and a Tupolev Tu-154M on behalf of the government for use of the President and Prime Minister.

The aircraft, instead of being painted sky blue as other Belavia planes, is painted in red and green. These colors are derived from the national flag. The English and Belarusian name of the country, "Беларусь", appear near the door on both sides in red. On the tail-fin of the plane, the national emblem appears in full color.

Belgium[edit]

Belgian Air Force Airbus A321-231

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 A321-231, two Dassault Falcon 20 modernised in 2004, one Dassault Falcon 900 for the transport of (V)VIP over very long distances in exceptional comfort conditions, two Embraer ERJ 135 and two Embraer ERJ 145.[13]

Benin[edit]

The Government of Benin operated a Boeing 727 in 2015.[14]

Bhutan[edit]

Druk Air Airbus A319

The King and the Government of Bhutan use an Airbus A319 from the national flag carrier Druk Air for all travels.

Bolivia[edit]

The Bolivian Air Force operates a 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 acquire a Dassault Falcon 50EX, the aircraft will be used exclusively by the Executive Body. The Bolivian government also authorizes the Ministry of Defence buying an aircraft Beechcraft King Air 250 and an aircraft Beechcraft King Air 350i for to upgrade aircraft fleet of the Bolivian Air Force.

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina operated a Cessna Citation I and a Cessna CitationJet in 2015.[14]

Botswana[edit]

The Botswana Defence Force operated a Bombardier Global Express in 2015.[14] It previously operated a Gulfstream IV as a VIP transport.

Bulgaria[edit]

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-8 and a Agusta AW-109 Power for use by the President, the Prime Minister and other state officials.

Brazil[edit]

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 rented from 2017 to 2025.[15] 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:

The fleet is headquartered at the Brasília Air Force Base (BABR).

Brunei Darussalam[edit]

His Majesty The Sultan's Flight's Airbus A340-200 in May 2013

His Majesty The Sultan's Flight (HMSF) has several aircraft in VIP configuration for exclusively for the Sultan of Brunei and members of the Royal Family.

Burkina Faso[edit]

The government of Burkina Faso operated two Boeing 727s in 2015 And in 2016-2017 they recently acquired the Dassault 700.[16]

Burundi[edit]

The government of Burundi operated a Gulfstream IV in 2015.[16]

Cambodia[edit]

Kingdom of Cambodia A320 at Phnom Penh airport on 29 September 2015

The Kingdom of Cambodia operated an Airbus A320 in 2015.[16]

Cameroon[edit]

The government of Cameroon operated a Gulfstream III in 2015.[16]

Canada[edit]

The CC-150 Polaris is used to transport the Canadian monarch, governor general, and/or prime minister

The Royal Canadian Air Force( also known as Can force one) 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 604 business jets (CC-144), operated by 412 Squadron are used.[17][18]

Chad[edit]

The government of Chad operated a McDonnell Douglas MD-87 in 2015.[19]

Chile[edit]

FACh Boeing 737-500 VIP transport at Sydney Airport in Australia

The transportation of the President was in charge of the formerly state-owned flag carrier Lan Airlines, providing a Boeing 707 or a Boeing 737-200.

Nowadays, the transportation is under the responsibility of the Chilean Air Force, which operates the following aircraft:

Formerly, FACh used a Boeing 707-320C which is still in service for military purposes.

It is confirmed that the Chilean Air Force outsources maintenance to Delta Air Lines.

China (People's Republic of China)[edit]

China's paramount leader Xi Jinping, getting a ceremonial escort by eight Pakistani JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft in Pakistani airspace on a two-day visit in April 2015.

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 Boeing 767-300ER was purchased by the Chinese government for use by the then leader Jiang Zemin in 2000. This Boeing 767 was originally ordered by Delta Air Lines. An international incident occurred in 2001 when the government claimed it had discovered 27 bugs embedded in the aircraft's interior. [21] The plane had been refitted in San Antonio, Texas. It had since been converted back to a normal passenger airliner and transferred to Air China as B-2499 and eventually sold to Kazakhstan's Sunday Airlines.[22]

A commercial Air China Boeing 747-4J6 is converted for international travel when necessary. The four 747-400 used for this purpose have the following registrations: B-2443, B-2445, B-2447, B-2472. It is specially retrofitted during official use and returns to commercial service afterwards.[23][24]

An Air China Boeing 747-8I with registration B-2479 is being converted and tested for exclusive use as head of state transport. [25][26]

The PLAAF 34th division was formed in 1959. Types of aircraft formerly used for VIP air transportation including Vickers Viscount, Ilyushin Il-18 and Hawker Siddeley Trident. The plane which crashed in Mongolia in 1971, carrying defecting marshal Lin Biao, was a Trident registered as CAAC B-256, piloted by Pan Jingyin (潘景寅), deputy commander of the 34th division.

Colombia[edit]

In 1933, Colombia acquired its first presidential transport airplane, 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 presidential airplane starting with the dictatorship of Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1953–57).

Colombian presidential airplane, FAC 0001

In 1972 a new Fokker F28-1000 became the presidential airplane during the presidency of Misael Pastrana Borrero.

In 2005, Colombia acquired the following aircraft for presidential transport:

Airplanes Quantity
Boeing 737 1
Fokker 28 2
Embraer Legacy 600 1
Lear Jet 60 1
Helicopter Quantity
Helicopter Bell 412 2
Helicopter Sikorsky UH60 1

The Colombian president may use the modified "Jupiter" Boeing KC-767 longer range flights.

Costa Rica[edit]

The Air Surveillance Service is a department of the Ministry of Public Security which is in charge of police surveillance in airspace. This department has a Beechcraft King Air F90-1 and MD 600N helicopter. First the aircraft are available for surveillance and second for transporting the President of Costa Rica and other government dignitaries.

Croatia[edit]

Croatian Government Canadair CL604 Challenger

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.[27] 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.[28]

Cuba[edit]

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 government of Cuba operated a Ilyushin Il-62 and Ilyushin Il-96 in 2015.[29]

Czech Republic[edit]

Czech Air Force Airbus A319 corporate jet

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.

Denmark[edit]

The Royal Danish Air Force operates four Challenger CL-604 for VIP transport, primarily that of the government and The Danish Royal Family. These airplanes 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.

Dominican Republic[edit]

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,[citation needed] to transport the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina. For overseas and long distance travel the president is transported on a Aero Commander 500.[citation needed]

The government of the Dominican Republic operated a Beech Super King Air in 2015.[29]

Ecuador[edit]

Rafael Correa's presidential Embraer Legacy 600 arriving at Camilo Ponce Enríquez Airport in Loja, Ecuador in September 2013.

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.[citation needed] 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.

Egypt[edit]

The A340-200 utilized by the Egyptian government since the mid-1990s.

The government of Egypt operated an Airbus A340-200 along with a number of business jets including the Gulfstream IV and Dassault Falcon 20s in 2015.[30]

The first presidential airplane in Egypt was given as a gift from Saudi Arabia to Egyptian President Sadat. Before that, the President of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, traveled using a rented airplane from the National Egyptian Air company, 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:

Airplane Origin Number
Airplane
Airbus A340 France 1
Beechcraft Super King Air USA 4
Boeing 707 USA 1
Boeing 737 USA 4
Dassault Falcon 20 France 3
Dassault Falcon 7X France 4
Dassault Falcon 8X France 1
Gulfstream III USA 2
Gulfstream IV USA 4
VC-130H Hercules USA 1
Helicopter
Sikorsky H-3 Sea King USA 2
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk USA 2
Westland Commando MK-2B UK 2

El Salvador[edit]

El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes uses a de luxe version of the Bell 412 helicopter for local flights. The President also has military planes, helicopters and a presidential turboprop for his use.

For international flights, a Beechjet 400A is used from its base at Ilopango Airport in the capital, San Salvador.

Eritrea[edit]

The government of Eritrea operated a Bombardier Challenger in 2015.[31]

Finland[edit]

Finnish Air force Learjet UC-35A

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.[32]

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[33] and a Scanwings Cessna 525 (OH-WIX). The longest trip was to Ulaan Baatar in 2016.[34] The government leases private jets from companies such as Jetflite Oy.

France[edit]

French President's Airbus A330-200 used since November 2011.

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 ETEC operates 4 Dassault Falcon 50, 2 Dassault Falcon 900, 2 Dassault Falcon 7X and an Airbus A330-200. Additionally, the unit operates three VIP-configured Super Puma helicopters.

French officials also use the planes of the Escadron de transport 3/60 Esterel, which operates 3 Airbus A310-304 and 2 Airbus A340-200s.

In 2009, the French National Assembly approved a specific budget of 185 million euros for the purchase and modification of an Airbus A330-223 from Air Caraibes to be reserved for the exclusive use of the President of the Republic.

Air France chartered flights were also used by French officials, most notably Concorde when it was still in service with that airline.

Gambia[edit]

The president of the Gambia has been using Ilyushin Il-62 since August 2005.

The government of Gambia operated a Boeing 727 and Bombardier Challenger in 2015, the previously used Ilyushin Il-62 was stored.[35]

Germany[edit]

Germany's Airbus A340-313 VIP 16+01 "Konrad Adenauer", shown here in Toronto.

The airfleet used by Germany's senior government officials consists of twelve aircraft:

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.[37] The airplanes 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.

Georgia[edit]

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.[38]

Guatemala[edit]

Republic of Guatemala Beechcraft King Air 300 in 2016

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. [39]

Ghana[edit]

Republic of Ghana Falcon 900EX

The government of Ghana operated a Dassault Falcon 900EX in 2015.[40]

Greece[edit]

Hellenic Republic Gulfstream V

Greece's prime minister has a Gulfstream V at his disposal, which is under the operational command of the Hellenic Air Force. The airplane 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 A340-300x's from 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.[41]

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.

Honduras[edit]

Honduras Air Force EMB135BJ

The Honduran President used an IAI Westwind aircraft owned by the Honduran Air Force until October 2014 when it was changed for an Embraer Legacy 600.[42]

Hungary[edit]

The Hungarian government uses 1 Dassault Falcon 7X and two A319 airliners, recently purchased from Air Berlin.

Hong Kong[edit]

Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-200

The chief executive of Hong Kong travels on commercial aircraft, usually operated by Cathay Pacific. She travels within the territory on helicopters operated by the Government Flying Service.

India[edit]

One of the five Boeing aircraft, during the Indian President's trip to Madrid, Spain call-sign Air India One

Air India One (AIC001) is the call-sign of any aircraft with the President of India, or the Prime Minister of India on board.[43] Air India One is operated by Indian Air Force. Since 2003 one of four Boeing 747-400s of Air India are used for international travel. The 747-400s are to be replaced by the Boeing 777-300ER. These Boeing 777-300ER 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 B-747 is 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. The aircraft interior is of state of art with a suite for President or Prime Minister or Vice President on board.

A chopper of IAF's special Mi-8 fleet, meant for carrying the President and the Prime Minister of India.

In 2008, the Indian Air Force inducted three Boeing Business Jets which are used by VVIP Government officials. 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. 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.[44]

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

Indonesia[edit]

Indonesia Air Force One, Boeing 737-800 Business Jet on a state visit to The Netherlands

As a sprawling vast archipelagic nation,[45] 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.[46]

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 F27-400, 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.[47] The government claimed the cost of operating its own aircraft would be lower than chartering Garuda aircraft.[48][49] 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,[50] which includes a high-end self-defense system.[46]

Iran[edit]

Iranian Boeing 707 used until the early 2010s
Iranian Airbus A340-300 acquired in September 2015

Until the early 2010s, the president and other high-ranking government officials of Iran are 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 like the Foreign Minister, the Speaker of Parliament and the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council. The other VIP planes in use by the government consist of 1 Dassault Falcon 20, 3 Dassault Falcon 50 and 1 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. The government of Iran also owns a Boeing 727 but it is stored in Iran and no longer used. The interior retains its VIP configuration ordered by Henry Ford II in the 1960s.

Iraq[edit]

Before 2014, the government used a plane Boeing 767-200

Former President Saddam Hussein had his own personal 747SP for his travel as well as few Boeing 727s and Falcons for Governmental use.

Ireland[edit]

Irish Air Corps Gulfstream IV used as VIP Transport

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.

A Learjet 45 is currently used. Until recently, a Gulfstream IV was also part of the fleet.[51] The Air Corps AW139 helicopters are also used as government transport.[52]

Israel[edit]

Boeing 777-200ER of EL AL, Israel's flag carrier

The State of Israel does not currently 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 USD$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.

A similar system is reportedly installed on all EL AL Israel Airlines passenger and cargo aircraft.

The aircraft is scheduled to enter service in early 2018.

Italy[edit]

Airbus A340-500 – Italian Air Force
Airbus A319CJ – Italian Air Force

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 50 and three Dassault Falcon 900 (1 EC and 2 EASy) 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. Recently, an Airbus A340-500 was acquired on lease from Etihad Airways for longer-distance trips by the Italian Prime Minister or President. All aircraft and helicopters are operated by the 31st Wing based in Rome Ciampino Airport, except for the A340-500, which is based at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport, because it cannot operate from the shorter runway at Ciampino.[53]

Ivory Coast[edit]

The Ivorian government uses a Gulfstream IV as a VIP aircraft. Furthermore, they also use a government Boeing 727-200WGL.

Jamaica[edit]

The Jamaican government charters either an Airbus A340 for long hauls and or a Boeing BBJ 737-800 for short-hauls.

As well as having Bell 206's/407's/412's at their disposal from their JDF (Jamaica Defense Force) fleet.

Japan[edit]

Japanese Air Force One at Hunter Army Airfield

Japan maintains two Boeing 747-400 aircraft mostly for the Prime Minister, the Emperor, Empress and other members of the Imperial Family, operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

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).[2] 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 U.S. Air Force One VC-25s, though the U.S. 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.[54] The 747s will be replaced by new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in fiscal year 2019.[55]

Jordan[edit]

Lufthansa Airbus A340-600

The King of Jordan uses an Airbus A340-600 Prestige operated by Lufthansa. The members of the royal family and government officials also use an Airbus A318-112 Elite.

Kazakhstan[edit]

Airbus A330-200 of Kazakhstan Government

The Kazakhstan government fleet consists of the following aircraft (August 2015):

Kenya[edit]

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 26th, 1996 by retired President Daniel Moi.[56] Prior to the purchase of the Fokker, the Kenyan President primarily used Kenya Airways for his international travel.[citation needed] The Presidential fleet also includes Bombardier Dash 8 and Aerospatiale Puma, mostly for domestic travel.

Korea, North[edit]

Air Koryo's Ilyushin Il-62M for official flights

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un travels overseas on one of two VIP configured Korean People's Army Air Force Ilyushin Il-62M operated by Air Koryo crew.[57] Kim Jong-un's private aircraft is known as Goshawk-1.[58]

Korea, South[edit]

South Korean Presidential Plane

Since April 2010, a Republic of Korea Air Force Boeing 747-400, leased from Korean Air, conducts most of official international travels by the President of the Republic of Korea. The aircraft is based in Seoul Air Base, however most operation including pilots is provided by Korean Air. The lease extends until April 2020, once renewed in December 2014. The livery consists of a largely white body with a coloured cheatline. The first portion of the line is red while the rest of the line is blue. A similar blue and red design is on the tail. The country's name is written in both Korean and English on the side and the flag is on the tail and behind the door. The plane's military registration is 10001 (former civilian registration was HL7465). As of November 2017, Korean government doesn't have a plan for the replacement of leased 747.

The Air Force also operates one Boeing 737-300 and CASA CN-235s for government travel. The 737, in service since 1983, served its first presidential visit to Pyongyang in 2000.

The Sikorsky S-92, acquired in 2007, is the presidential helicopter.

Kuwait[edit]

State of Kuwait Airbus A340-500.
State of Kuwait Boeing 737-900ER (BBJ3).

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 plane from any potential attacks, also used by the Crown Prince of Kuwait, or since 2016, a Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental equipped similarly to the A340s.

The rest of the official state aircraft used by senior ruling family members and cabinet members:

Kyrgyzstan[edit]

The government of Kyrgyzstan operated a single Tupolev Tu-154M in 2015.[59]

Lebanon[edit]

A Middle East Airlines Airbus A330-200 boarding the Lebanese President and the Lebanese delegation to the United Nations at New York-JFK Airport.

For his local and regional trips, the Lebanese president uses a Lebanese Air Force VIP variant of 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.

Libya[edit]

The government of Libya operated an Airbus A340-200 and a Dassault Falcon 900EX in 2015.[59]

Lithuania[edit]

Lithuanian Air Force Alenia C-27J Spartan

The President and the government of Lithuania use one of the 3 Alenia C-27J Spartan of the Lithuanian Air Force in a passenger configuration.[60]

Luxembourg[edit]

Luxair's Boeing 737-7C9

A private Cessna 550 Citation II, a Learjet 35A or even a 737-7C9 chartered from the Luxembourgish flag carrier Luxair Luxembourg Airlines are sometimes used for governmental flights.[61]

Macau[edit]

The Chief Executive of Macau travels abroad (and to mainland China destinations) on commercial aircraft operated by Air Macau, the de facto flag carriers of the territory. As Macau is a small locale, there is no need for air travel within the territory.

Macedonia[edit]

The government of the Republic of Macedonia operated a Learjet 25B and a Learjet 60 in 2015.[59]

Madagascar[edit]

The government of Madagascar operated a Boeing 737-300 in 2015.[59]

Malawi[edit]

President Peter Mutharika travels abroad on a Dassault Falcon 900EX.

Malaysia[edit]

Malaysia's Prime Minister and Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Ruling Monarch) travel in an Airbus A320 registration 9M-NAB operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force. The Airbus A320 was purchased in 2015. Other planes in use include a Dassault Falcon 900, Fokker F28, Bombardier BD-700 and a Boeing 737.[62] [63]

Mali[edit]

Republic of Mali Boeing 737-700

The government of Mali operated a Boeing 737-700/BBJ in 2015.[64]

Mexico[edit]

Mexican Air Force Boeing 787-8

As of February 2016, the air fleet of the President of Mexico has a total of 18 aircraft which are described below:

In 2012, the Mexican government announced the acquisition through a 15-year lease of a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The new presidential aircraft incorporates modern security systems. It started operations in December 2015. The TP-01 is named José María Morelos y Pavón, President Enrique Peña Nieto used the aircraft for the first time at the Air Force 101st anniversary ceremony on 10 February 2016.

Moldova[edit]

The airline Air Moldova operates a Yakovlev Yak-40 on behalf of the Moldovan Government, for use of the President and Prime Minister.

Monaco[edit]

Monaco Government Dassault Falcon 7X on finals into Innsbruck (Austria)

The Prince and the Monegasque government (including the Minister of State (Monaco)) use a Dassault Falcon 7X based in the French airport of Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. [65]

Mongolia[edit]

Mongolian Airlines Boeing 767-300

The Mongolian President and Prime Minister with other Parliament members use an 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.

Montenegro[edit]

The Government of Montenegro operates one Learjet 45 for VIP transport.

Morocco[edit]

Moroccan Air Force Boeing 737-8KB(BBJ2) "CN-MVI", operated for the exclusive use by King Mohammed VI and his family

The Moroccan Air Force operates a fleet of VIP aircraft for use by Moroccan officials, including King Mohammed VI and Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani:

A fleet of smaller jets, consisting mainly of Beechcraft Super King 200/350 airplanes, is also occasionally used for VIP-transport of the royal family, ministers and armed forces senior staff.

Namibia[edit]

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

Nepal[edit]

Boeing 757-200 is the official air transport of the head of government of Nepal operated by Nepal Airlines (formerly known as Royal Nepal Airlines), which is the flag carrier airline of Nepal. In 2015, Nepal Airlines bought two Airbus A320 – 200 aircraft. Post their arrival, head of state and head of government of Nepal fly on Airbus. The Boeing is only used if there is unavailability of Airbus.

Netherlands[edit]

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.[66] The Fokker F70 will be replaced by a Boeing 737 BBJ in 2019 at a cost of 89m Euro, it will be registered PH-GOV (GOVernment).[67]

A Gulfstream IV of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) is also available.

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.[68] 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 plane.

New Zealand[edit]

Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757-200 at Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire, England, for an air display.

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.

Niger[edit]

The Government of Niger used to operate a Boeing 737-200 Adv for official flights. This Boeing 737-200 Adv was stored sep 2014 and replaced by a Boeing 737-700 (BBJ).[69]

Nigeria[edit]

Nigerian Air Force 737-7N6

The Nigerian Air Force currently maintains a Boeing Business Jet (737) as a means of transport for the President of Nigeria. The plane is known as "Eagle One" and is marked NAF-001. The national colors of the Nigerian Flag (Green, White, Green), are painted in long horizontal stripes along the base of the white fuselage, the words "NIGERIAN AIR FORCE" are tagged on the top, and the Seal of the President of Nigeria is embossed on the tail. In addition, there is a Gulfstream V-SP, a Gulfstream 550, two Falcon 7Xs, a Do228-200, and 3 A139 choppers. 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.

Norway[edit]

Dassault Falcon 20, serving as VIP-transport with the Royal Norwegian 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.

Oman[edit]

The Oman Royal Flight operates a Boeing 747-400, Boeing 747SP, two Gulfstream IVs and an Airbus A320. These are used by the Sultan of Oman and members of his government.

Pakistan[edit]

Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Viking 1B-J750 showing the coat of arms of the Governor-General of Pakistan.
Pakistan Air Force A310

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-Royal Indian Air Force Viking 1B-J750 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 till 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.

PIA
A Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777-200ER serving as PAKISTAN ONE, which carried President Mamnoon Hussain to Pakistan.

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 80s, 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 wore a government colour scheme, and eventually a partial PIA 1990s livery was adopted as the aircraft 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 Boeing B737 was transferred to PIA permanently.The President and Prime Minister then resorted to using two of PIA's Airbus A310-300 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 Pakistan Air Force by PIA in a hybrid PIA and PAF livery. Also used is the VIP Gulfstream IV of the Pakistan Air Force.

Peru[edit]

The official aircraft of the President of Peru is a Boeing 737-500 acquired in 1995 during Alberto Fujimori's presidency.

Boeing 737 of Republic of Peru

Contrary to the photo shown of a gray aircraft, a past editor has stated that the aircraft sports the Marca Perú logo (a “P e r u”, with the P stylized like the tail of “The Monkey” in the Nazca Lines drawings of the Peruvian desert)[70] on the vertical fin, a white fuselage with a black underbelly with red pinstripes, the words "República del Perú" adorning the sides, and the Coat of Arms of Peru displayed on the side. It carries a crew of six, the President of the Republic of Peru and thirty passengers.

It has been mistakenly reported that 169–176 kg of cocaine (the quantity depends on the source) were found in the aircraft in 1996.[71] This incident, which occurred on 11 May 1996, actually involved a Peruvian Air Force Douglas DC-8 that had formerly been used as a presidential aircraft, but had since been converted to a cargo plane.[72]

Philippines[edit]

Philippine Airlines Flight 1, an Airbus A321-200, carrying President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016

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 F-27 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 Bombardier 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 plane 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-47s, 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.

Airbus A320 and Airbus A321 are being used for short-haul flights. While the Airbus A340-300, Airbus A330-300, Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 777-300ER are being used for medium-to-long haul flights.

In 1986, the squadron of presidential aircraft consisted of: one Boeing 707, one BAC-111, one YS-11, one F-28, one S-62A, two UH-1N, one Puma, and two S-70AS.

Poland[edit]

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.[73]

Due to lack of the VIP fleet both the president and prime minister often used Polish Air Force EADS CASA C-295M for domestic flight and due to civil aviation restrictions.[74] In 2016 the new polish government launched the VIP jets acquisition programme to procure small and medium size business jets.[75] On 14 November 2016 the Polish Ministry of Defence signed the deal to buy two Gulfstream G550 VIP planes.[76] 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 include single 132 seats Boeing 737-800 and two 65-seats Boeing 737-800BBJ2 planned for delivery in 2020.[77] The first G550 was delivered on 21 June 2017.[78] The Boeing 737-800 arrived in Warsaw on 15 November 2017. The aircraft are operated by Polish Air Force 1st Airlift Air Base .

Since 1990 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 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.[79]

Portugal[edit]

Dassaul Falcon 50 of the Portuguese Air Force

The Portuguese Air Force operates three Dassault Falcon 50 built in 1990 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 20 built in 1984, 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. One of them is on display at the Air Museum (Museu do Ar), located in the area of the Sintra Air Base (BA1).

The three Dassault Falcon 50 are also often used for long range emergency human organ transports and medical evacuation, mainly from and to the Portuguese islands of Azores and Madeira.

Usually, TAP Portugal, SATA Air Açores or EuroAtlantic Airways aircraft are used for long range VIP flights, these being either Airbus A340 or Airbus A330.

Romania[edit]

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.

When Romavia was shutdown in October 2010, the presidential administration chartered an Airbus A310-300 from TAROM.

As of 2016, Romania no longer has an official aircraft, but a project to acquire one or more has been approved.

Russia[edit]

Ilyushin Il-96-300PU of Russia at Vnukovo International Airport in 2015

Russia State Transport Company operates two Ilyushin Il-96-300PU for use of the President of Russia.

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.[80] The aircraft is reported to have an escape capsule, much like the one featured in the film Air Force One.[54]

The Russian government fleet consists of the following aircraft (April 2016):

Aircraft In Fleet Orders
Airbus ACJ319 2
Antonov An-148 2
Dassault Falcon 7X 2
Ilyushin Il-96-300 8
Ilyushin IL-62 8
Sukhoi Superjet 100 2
Tupolev Tu-204-300 2
Tupolev Tu-214 13
Total 31

Rwanda[edit]

The government of Rwanda leases Qatar Exclusive Gulfstream G650ER for travel

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Saudi Arabian Royal Flight Boeing 747-300 parked at JFK Airport in New York City.

The Saudi Arabian Royal Flight operates a Boeing 747-300 and a Boeing 747-400 for use by the King of Saudi Arabia.[citation needed]

Senegal[edit]

The government of Senegal operated an Airbus A319 since 2011.

Senegal's A319 in 2014

Serbia[edit]

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.

Singapore[edit]

Gulfstream G550 similar to the one used by Singapore government officials landing.

The President, Prime Minister of Singapore and government officials typically travel on regular scheduled commercial flights operated by Singapore's flag carrier, Singapore Airlines.

However, at APEC Philippines 2015, the Prime Minister travelled on a small Gulfstream G550.[81][82]

Slovakia[edit]

Airbus ACJ319 of Slovak Government Flying Service painted in national colours and portraying famous Slovak politician Milan Rastislav Štefánik

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.

Slovenia[edit]

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.

Somalia[edit]

The government of Somalia operated a Beech 1900D turboprop.

South Africa[edit]

South African Air Force Boeing 737-7ED BBJ ZS-RSA

The President of South Africa travels in a Boeing 737 (BBJ) 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.[83]

Callsign- South Africa 1 (one).

Spain[edit]

Dassault-Falcon 900 of the Spanish Air Force

The Spanish Air Force operates 2 customized Airbus A310,[84] 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 plane of the King and the Prime Minister.

Sri Lanka[edit]

Airbus A330-243 of SriLankan Airlines

The President, Prime Minister and government officials typically travel on regular scheduled commercial flights run by SriLankan Airlines.

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 7 Bell 412EPs.

Sudan[edit]

The President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir typically travel on a Ilyushin Il-62 and a Dassault Falcon 50.[85] Two Mil Mi-17 VIP helicopters are also used for domestic air transport.[86]

Suriname[edit]

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.

Swaziland[edit]

The government of Swaziland operates McDonnell Douglas MD-87 and Airbus A340-300.

Sweden[edit]

Gulfstream IV of the Swedish Air Force State Flight.

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 Wing (F 7). Currently it operates two Gulfstream IV aircraft and one Gulfstream G550 in the VIP transport role.[87]

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.[88] 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.

Switzerland[edit]

The Swiss Air Force's Cessna Citation Excel

The Swiss Air Force operates a fleet of three small VIP transport aircraft:[89]

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.[91] The Beechcraft 1900D will be replaced in 2019 by two Canadair CL-604 previously operated by Rega.[90] All of these airplanes are based at the airport of Bern.

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.

Syria[edit]

Government of Syria Dassault Falcon 900

The government of Syria operated a Dassault Falcon 900 in 2016.[92]

Taiwan (Republic of China)[edit]

Boeing 777-300ER of China Airlines, taxiing in Taoyuan International Airport

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.[93] 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 or Boeing 777 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.

Tanzania[edit]

Tanzanian Government Gulfstream G550

The Tanzania Government Flight Agency operates a Gulfstream G550.[92]

Thailand[edit]

The Royal Thai Air Force's 602 Royal Guard Squadron operates a Boeing 737-800 for the Royal family flight.

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.

Tunisia[edit]

Republic of Tunisia Boeing 737 BBJ

The government of Tunisia operates a Boeing 737 BBJ.[92]

Turkey[edit]

TC-TUR at New York-JFK Airport in September 2017. At the time of the photo, it was directly behind TC-CAN.
TC-CAN at New York JFK Airport in September 2017. At the time of the photo, it was directly in front of TC-TUR.

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 2, Airbus A319 CJ (TC-ANA), a highly modified and armed (with air defense missiles)[citation needed][dubious ] Airbus A330-200 Prestige (TC-TUR), a highly modified and armed (with air defense missiles) Airbus A340-500 High Gross Weight (TC-CAN) and a highly modified and armed BOEING 747-8 which was formerly owned by the QATAR Royal Family[94][95]. The fleet additionally contains 2 G550, 2 GIV and 2 Cessna Citation V. When the President of the Turkish Republic is aboard any aircraft, the call-sign is "Turkish Republic One". The Turkish President also has several Airbus Military A-400M's which are used to transport the Presidential limousines & Turkish Secret Service Counter Attack Teams. Some A-400M's can also provide aerial refueling for the Presidential fleet.[citation needed][dubious ]

Turkmenistan[edit]

The President of Turkmenistan utilizes a specially-configured Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner aircraft, painted in the colors of national airline Turkmenistan Airlines.

Uganda[edit]

Uganda Gulfstream G550

In February 2009, a Gulfstream G550 was delivered to the Government of Uganda for use by the President of Uganda. It replaced a Gulfstream IV-SP that had been in service since 2000.[96]

Mil M-17 Used by the President of Uganda

In addition, the Ugandan president uses Mil Mi-171 registered to 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 at new helicopter.[97] It is equipped with a cloak room, snackbar, bathroom and luggage compartment[98] and seats up to 12 passengers.[99]

Ukraine[edit]

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 29 km east of Kiev. The airline started operations in 1996.

United Arab Emirates[edit]

Dubai Royal Air Wing – Boeing 747-400

The United Arab Emirates has 7 Emirates states, each ones with their own private jet fleet. The most notable fleets are maintained by the Dubai Royal Air Wing and Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight.

The Dubai Royal Air Wing has 12 aircraft ranging in size from de Havilland Twin Otter to Boeing 747-400, used by the Emir of Dubai as well as government officials.

Abu Dhabi Amiri Flight has 7 aircraft the smallest being an Airbus A320-200 and the largest being a Boeing 747-8BBJ.

The Sharjah Royal Flight uses an Airbus A319 and Airbus A320.

The Fujairah Amiri flight has 1 aircraft, an Airbus A320.

United Kingdom[edit]

British Royal Air Force Airbus A330 at RAF Brize Norton

On Friday 8 July 2016, a newly converted RAF Voyager A330 (registry ZZ336) 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.[100]

No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron of the Royal Air Force maintains a fleet consisting of an Agusta A109SP helicopter and four BAe-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.[101]

The Queen's Helicopter Flight uses a Sikorsky S-76+ G-XXEB.

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.

United States[edit]

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.[102][103]

The callsign of any plane 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 aboard during his term of office.

In addition, the US military maintains a fleet of C-40s (Boeing 737-700), C-37As (Gulfstream V) and C-37Bs (Gulfstream G550) for use by government officials, Members of Congress and the White House.

Uruguay[edit]

Uruguayan Air Force Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia

The President of Uruguay uses an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, operated by the Uruguayan Air Force, for flights within South America, and a Cessna 414 operated by Ancap.

Uzbekistan[edit]

Boeing 767-300 used by the Military of Uzbekistan. This jet has Uzbekistan's flag on the vertical stabilizers instead of Uzbekistan Airways's typical logo.

The Uzbek government use a single Boeing 757-200 and single Boeing 767-300 for VIP transport.

Correction: The B757-200 referred to above was sold to the Yemen Government, which is now their 7O-VIP.

Vatican City[edit]

President George W. Bush walks the red carpet with Pope Benedict XVI. Behind is "Shepherd One", which is used as a callsign by the aircraft that transports the Pope.

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.[104] 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.

Inspired by a biblical verse,[105] international flights carrying the pope use the callsign "Shepherd One".[106]

Venezuela[edit]

An Airbus A319CJ serves as the presidential transport of Venezuela. Former President Hugo Chavez often traveled on board an Ilyushin Il-96 plane owned by Cubana de Aviacion.An Embraer Lineage 1000 YV3016 from national air carrier Conviasa is used too. A fleet of about 15 mixed planes among Dassault Falcons 900Ex,50 and Learjets 45 is used for high rank officials.

Vietnam[edit]

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner of Vietnam Airlines carrying the prime minister of Vietnam, operating as Flight VN1, departing JFK Airport to Joint Base Andrews. This airport is not a scheduled destination for the airline, nor is any airport in the Americas.

A Boeing 787-9 or Airbus A350-900 chartered from Vietnam Airlines is often used for international and long haul flights.[citation needed] For domestic and short haul flights, an Airbus A321 is chartered from Vietnam Airlines.[citation needed] When the prime minister is traveling aboard a Vietnam Airlines aircraft, the flight number assigned to the aircraft is VN1/HVN1.

Yemen[edit]

A Boeing 747SP of the Yemeni government in Yemenia colors taking off from Frankfurt Airport (2004).

Yemenia operates one VIP-configured Boeing 747SP registered 7O-YMN for use by the government of Yemen. The aircraft carries the Yemenia Yemen Airways livery.[107] In March 2015, The Boeing 747SP which was operated in Yemenia branding for Yemen Govt. was damaged by gun fire during a militia attack at Aden airport, a subsequent blaze destroyed the aircraft completely.[108] 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.[109] 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.

Yugoslavia (former)[edit]

Former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito used many aircraft during his term as president.[citation needed] The most notable aircraft types in service were the Douglas DC-6, Ilyushin Il-18, Sud Aviation Caravelle and Boeing 727.[citation needed]

Zambia[edit]

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.

Zimbabwe[edit]

Air Zimbabwe's "Presidential" Boeing 767-200ER

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 plane 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 Airliner continued their role as a state VIP transporter, using the B767-200ER.

See also[edit]

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Sources[edit]

Books

External links[edit]