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Air transports of heads of state and government

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

Some nations maintain one or more special aircraft to transport their heads of state and government. One in particular has been immortalised in popular culture: Air Force One, used by the President of the United States and operated by the United States Air Force.

Contents: A B C D E F G I J K M N O P R S T U V ZNotes


The Agrupación Aérea Presidencial (Spanish for Presidential Air Group) is the Head of State Air Transport Unit of Argentina. A Boeing 757 is currently the Tango 01, or presidential transport. Two Fokker F28 aircraft are known as the Tango 02 and the Tango 03. Also a Sikorsky S-76 and a Learjet 55 for VIP transport.


A RAAF Boeing 737 BBJ
A RAAF Boeing 737 BBJ

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 Governor-General, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs. The aircraft are regularly used for both domestic and international travel and are also made available to the Australian Royal Family when they visit Australia.

The two 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.


The President, Prime Minister or the head of the government travel on a specially reserved Biman Bangladesh Airlines aircraft. For long distance flights or flights with an especially large entourage, usually a DC-10 aircraft is used, whereas for medium to short distance flights an Airbus A310 aircraft is used. In many cases, two Biman aircraft are reserved for government flights, one as a standby aircraft.


Bahrain Royal Flight Boeing 747SP
Bahrain Royal Flight Boeing 747SP

The Bahrain Royal Flight operates a Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 747SP for use by the King of Bahrain.


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

The airline Belavia operates a Boeing Business Jet (Registered EW-001PA), and a Tupolev Tu-154M on behalf of the government for use of the President and Prime Minister.

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


The Botswana Defence Force operates a Gulfstream IV as a VIP transport.


In Bulgaria, Aviodetachment-28 of the Bulgarian Air Force operates a Tupolev Tu-154, Dassault Falcon 2000, and a Mil Mi-8 helicopter for use by the President and Prime Minister and other government officials.


VC-1A, Brazilian Air Force One
VC-1A, Brazilian Air Force One

The main Presidential aircraft used by the Brazilian Government is a modified Airbus A319, designated by the Brazilian Air Force as VC-1A. The VC-1A is used for transporting the President on international medium and long-range travel. For short-range flights the President is transported in one of the two modified Embraer 195 presidential jets. When an aircraft is transporting the President of Brazil it uses the callsign Força Aérea Uno (Brazilian 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).


The Sultan of Brunei has several private planes in VIP configuration on which to travel internationally.

  • Boeing B767-27G(ER) V8-MHB
  • Boeing B747-430 V8-ALI
  • Airbus A340-212 V8-BKH
  • Gulfstream V V8-001
  • Gulfstream V V8-007
  • Gulfstream IV V8-SR1
  • Sikorsky S-76+ V8-HB1
  • Sikorsky S-76+ V8-HB2

Burkina Faso

The government of Burkina Faso uses a special Boeing 727


The Canadian Forces Air Command operates five Airbus A310-300s (CC-150 Polaris), flown by crews of 437 Transport Squadron, based at CFB Trenton, one of which is configured for VIP transport, as well as four Bombardier Challenger 600 business jets (CC-144), operated by 412 Squadron in Ottawa. These planes are charged with flying members of the Canadian Royal Family, Governor General of Canada, the Prime Minister of Canada, and other high ranking government officials and foreign dignitaries. The CC-150 Polaris is primarily used for long distance trips while the CC-144 is used for short distance trips.


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 (Fuerza Aérea de Chile (FACh)), which owns the following aircrafts:

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

People's Republic of China

Air transportation for the President or government officials of the People's Republic of China is operated by Air China, the national carrier. A specific Boeing 747-400 is usually used for long distance trips, a Boeing 767 is used for mid-haul trips, and a Boeing 737-800 is used for short distance trips.

A Boeing 767 was purchased by the Chinese government for use by President 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; the plane had been refitted in San Antonio, Texas and now operates as a normal civil airliner of Air China.

Republic of China

Air transportation for the President or other high-ranking officials of the Republic of China is operated by the Republic of China Air Force using a customized Boeing 737-800 , registration #3701 delivered from Boeing in 2001. This aircraft is not usually permitted to fly to countries without diplomatic relations with the ROC. Instead, a Boeing 747 operated by Taiwan's national airline, China Airlines, is used for long-haul trips by the President and his staff.


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 Colombian president Enrique Olaya Herrera until its retirement from service in 1950. From 1953 to 1972 a Douglas C-54 Skymaster, served as presidential airplane during the dictatorship of Gustavo Rojas Pinilla.

In 1972 a new Fokker F28 1000 model became the presidential airplane during the mandate of Misael Pastrana Borrero. This aircraft is notorious because during Ernesto Samper Pizano's presidency, in September 22, 1996, three kilograms of heroin were found hidden inside the plane, hours before departing to New York City, where President Samper would address to the United Nations General Assembly. The incident was grave because the United States had canceled Samper's visa for having alleged connections to drug barons who financed his political campaign. Finally, Samper travelled to the United States with a diplomatic visa and in a rented plane.

In 2005, the new president Álvaro Uribe Vélez urged Congress to purchase a new aircraft due to safety and environmental concerns. After 33 years of service the airplane was almost obsolete and very noisy. In many occasions the plane nearly collided while transporting the president. Colombians nicknamed it the Presidential Coffee Pot. The aircraft was penalized more than once for violating decibel airport standards and sometimes even prohibited from landing also due to environmental contamination.

Eventually, the Fokker was retired from service and in July 2005, Colombia acquired a Boeing 737-700 BBJ for presidential transport. Its code name is FAC 0001 or Fuerza Aerea Colombiana 0001 (Colombian Air Force 0001).

Côte d'Ivoire

The Ivorian government uses a Gulfstream IV (Registered TU-VAF) as a VIP aircraft.


Cuba, as one of the few comunist countries left, the goverment owns every thing, that includes all the planes of all national airlines. They are use but only for secundly goverment purpose. The folowing fleet is the most comundly use:

2-Ilyushin Il-96 widebody for long and international destinations

1-Ilyushin Il-62 long range for goverment officials

3-Yak-40 for short range and unpaved runways


The Government Agency is responsible for transporting of the Croatian President, the Prime Minister and other Croatian government officials. It operates a Challenger CL-604.

Czech Republic

The Czech Air Force operates two Airbus A319(A319-115X(CJ)), a Bombardier Challenger 600, two Tupolev Tu-154, two Yakovlev Yak-40 airplanes 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.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The North Korean Government has access to all of the Air Koryo fleet for official services. Kim Jong Il however does not have his own plane due to his fear of flying. The main aircraft that are used from Air Koryo's fleet are the Tupolev Tu-134 and Ilyushin Il-62M


The Royal Danish Air Force operates three 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. Further more the Danish Royal Family have one AgustaWestland EH101 Merlin at their disposal. Ministers do also fly on commercial airlines such as Scandinavian Airlines.


Ecuador currently uses a Embraer Legacy 600 (FAE-739) and a Rockwell Sabreliner 40D (FAE-047) for presidential transport. Aircraft from the flag-carrier airline TAME's fleet, including Boeing 727s, Fokker F28s, and Embraer E-Jets can also be drafted for government use. The Plane used for long haul transport is a Airbus A320 operated by TAME


The Egyptian government operates an Airbus A340-200 (Registered SU-GGG) as a VIP transport. 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 1955, and during his trip to attend the first Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, president Nasser and his accompanying crew used a rental plane from the Indian National Air company.

El Salvador

El Salvador's president Tony Saca currently uses a deluxe version of the Bell 412 helicopter for local flights. He also has military planes, helicopters and a presidential turboprop for his use. For international flights, a Beechjet 400A, N717TG, is used from its base at Illopango Airport.


The Escadron de transport, d'entraînement et de calibrage 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 (F-RAFI, F-RAFJ, F-RAFK and F-RAFL), 2 Dassault Falcon 900 (F-RAFP and F-RAFQ) and 2 Airbus A319 CJ (F-RBFA and F-RBFB). Additionally, the unit operates three VIP-configured Super Puma helicopters (F-RAFU, F-RAFY and F-RAFZ).

French officials also use the planes of the Escadron de transport 3/60 Esterel, which operates 3 Airbus A310-300 (F-RADA, F-RADB and F-RADC) and 2 Airbus A340-200 (F-RAJA and F-RAJB). In June 2008, the French ministry of Defence announced the order of 2 Airbus A330-200 series (previously exploited by Air Caraibes and Swissair) to replace the Airbus 319 CJ for the transport of the President of France. Furthermore a complete overhaul of the fleet is underway.

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

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


Gambia uses an Il-62 for their VIP flights.


Germany's Airbus A310-304 VIP 10+22 Theodor Heuss
Germany's Airbus A310-304 VIP 10+22 Theodor Heuss

Germany's senior government officials use two Airbus 310-304 aircraft, previously of East Germany's Interflug, redesigned as Airbus 310 VIP by Lufthansa Technik for medium and long distance travel. The airplanes are named after Konrad Adenauer (10+21), after the first chancellor of (West) Germany, and Theodor Heuss (10+22), after Germany's first President.

Additionally, the German air force's Special Air Mission Wing Federal Ministry of Defence (Flugbereitschaft) operates six Challenger 601 jets (registration code 12+02/12+07) and three Eurocopter Cougar AS532 helicopters to handle the transportation needs of representatives of the German Government, Parliament and Military.

In October 2007 it was announced that the six Challenger would be replaced by two Airbus A 319CJ and four Bombardier Global 5000. In March 2008, the Ministry of Defense announced the intent to buy two used Airbus A340-300 passenger planes from Lufthansa as a replacement for the aging Airbus A310 jets. They will be converted to VIP planes by Lufthansa Technik. The acquisition and conversion of these A340 planes were approved by the German parliarment on 2008-03-12.


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 of the Hellenic Air Force operates also two Embraer business jets. For long haul flights the Primeminister and other officials use one of the Airbus A340-300x's from the government owned Olympic Airlines. 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 to an accident that cost the life of the deputy minister of foreign affairs Giannos Kranidiotis and five other persons due to severe in-flight pitch oscillations 20 minutes before landing at Bucharest on September 9, 1999. Falcon's problems prompted in 1992 the government of Constantine Mitsotakis to replace it with a refitted Boeing 727 amid charges of extravagant costs. The next government of Andreas Papandreou duly converted the Boeing 727 into a charter plane in 1994.


The government of Iraq uses a Boeing 767-200. Previously, they used an ex Air Canada aircraft. Recently Mahan Air of Iran donated an Airbus A300B4-600 aircraft which is now used on government flights.


Air India One, the official aircraft of the President of India.
Air India One, the official aircraft of the President of India.

Air India One (AI-001) is the call-sign of any aircraft with the Prime Minister of India or the President of India on-board. This plane is also known as VIP-1 or Tanjore. Since 2003, a Boeing 747-437B, equipped with jamming equipment, anti-missile systems and air-to-air refueling facility, has been used as Air India One.

The Government of India uses Air India and Indian Airlines aircraft for the overseas transportation of its officials. Other Union Cabinet ministers and government officials may travel in AI-001 with the Prime Minister's consent. For domestic travel, the Prime Minister and the President use an Indian Air Force Boeing 737-200 (also known as T-43).

In 2008, the Indian Air Force inducted 3 Boeing Business Jets which will be used by VVIP Government officials. These aircraft have a range of 3,000 to 4,000 nautical miles 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.


The President of Indonesia and the Vice President uses a chartered Garuda Indonesia Airbus A330-300 for most overseas trip and state visits. The Indonesian Air Force also maintains a special VIP squadron for the President, Vice President and Government Ministers which is the 17th Air Squadron (Indonesian: Skadron Udara 17) consisting of Boeing 737-200, C-130 Hercules, Fokker F27-400, Fokker F28-1000, RJ-85 and Super Puma (AS 332L-1) helicopters. All aircraft and helicopters of the 17th Air Squadron are based in Halim Perdanakusuma Airforce Base, Jakarta. All presidential flights depart from Halim Perdanakusuma AFB.

Ireland (Republic of Ireland)

Irish Air Corps Roundel
Irish Air Corps Roundel

The Irish Ministerial Air Transport Squadron (MATS) (part of the Irish Air Corps) provide secure transport to the President of Ireland, the Taoiseach (prime minister), the Tánaiste (the deputy prime minister), and members of the government and their staff, both within and outside the Republic of Ireland.

The aircraft involved in carrying Irish members of state include a Beechcraft Super King Air, Gulfstream IV, and Learjet 45. International flights are flown out by the Gulfstream IV, and during 2004 the Learjet 45 was introduced into MATS service flying. A Beechcraft Super King Air is used when the Gulfstream IV or Learjet 45 are not available.


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 have 50 seats for use of government officials. Four smaller Dassault Falcon 50 and five Dassault Falcon 900 are also used for government transport. Two Agusta SH-3D Sea Kings are operated for use by the President and Government officials and are also used by the Pope. All aircraft and helicopters are operated by the 31st Wing based in Rome Ciampino airport.


Japanese Air Force One at Hunter Army Airfield
Japanese Air Force One at Hunter Army Airfield

Japan maintains two Boeing 747-400 (20-1101 and 20-1102) aircraft mostly for the Prime Minister, the Emperor, Empress and other members of the Imperial Family, operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The planes are officially called seifu-senyō-ki (政府専用機, literally “Government Exclusive Aircraft”) in Japanese and Japanese Air Force One/Two in English. They have been used to transport Japanese peace-keeping troops to Iraq in the past, and are also designed to take Japanese nationals and refugees home from foreign land in serious political turmoil, chaos after natural disasters, etc.


The King uses an Airbus A340-600 for transport.

The royal family members and government officials uses a Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger (JY-ONE and the JY-TWO).


The Government of Kazakhstan uses a 767 and 757-200 for transport.


Kenya's president has a Fokker 70 for use as the presidential jet.

Fokker executive plane was purchased at a cost of $50 million. The 70-seater jet was reconfigured into a 28-seater, with three suites, bathroom and kitchen. It is equipped with the latest telecommunication facilities.

Prior to the purchase of the Fokker, the Kenyan President primarily used Kenya Airways for his international travel.


Kuwait Airways' only Boeing 747-400M taxis to the take off point at London Heathrow Airport
Kuwait Airways' only Boeing 747-400M taxis to the take off point at London Heathrow Airport

A Boeing 747-400 of Kuwait Airways is reserved for State use, but occasionally used for schedule flights.


LX-GDL, a private operated Cessna 550 Citation II and LX-ONE a private operated Learjet 35 A are sometimes used for governmental flights.


In December 2008, the Malagasy Government acquired a Boeing 737-700 Business Jet for $60 million for the President of Madagascar, to the dismay of the country and IMF. The acquisition created inquiries by the IMF and World Bank as to origin of the financing and remains unanswered to date.


Mexico's President uses mainly a Boeing 757-225 ordered by President Miguel de la Madrid built in 1987 exclusively for this purpose. The plane's official callsign when the president is inboard is TP-01, which stands for Transporte Presidencial 1 (Presidential Transport 1). When flying into airports with short runways, he uses either a Boeing 737-300 (TP-02) or a Boeing 737-322 (TP-03). For short trips he uses a Super Puma VIP edition called TPH-01 which stands for Transporte Presidencial Helicoptero 1 (Helicopter Presidential Transport 1). Before the 737's and the 757, two Boeing 727-100 were used as presidential transport. The current presidential fleet as of 2008 is as follows:

Aircraft Registration Code Name
Boeing 757-225 XC-UJM TP-01
Boeing 737-300 XC-UJB TP-02
Boeing 737-322 XC-LJG TP-03
Gulfstream III XC-UJN TP-06
Gulfstream III XC-UJO TP-07
Learjet 35A XC-IPP TP-104
Turbocommander 69 5A XC-UTA TP-216
Super Puma AS332 XC-UHV TPH-01
Super Puma AS332 XC-UHU TPH-02
Super Puma AS332 XC-UHO TPH-03
Super Puma AS332 XC-UHM TPH-05
Super Puma AS332 XC-UHP TPH-06
Puma SA330 XC-UHC TPH-08
Puma SA330 XC-UHA TPH-09


Malaysia's Prime Minister and the Royal Family travel in a Boeing Business Jet operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force with the serial number M53-01.The callsign of the plane is Perdana One (for the Prime Minister) or DiRaja One (if the King is aboard). The BBJ was purchased in 2003 from Malaysia Airlines who operated it with the registration number 9M-BBJ. Recently, They started to fly an Airbus A319 registered as 9M-NAA with callsign M1


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


The Mongolian President and Prime Minister with other Parliament members use an Airbus A310-300 (registered JU-1010) or Boeing 737-800 (registered EI-CXV) for short to medium range from Government owned 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.


The Government of Montenegro operates one Learjet 45 (N888CX) for VIP transport.


The Namibian government uses a Dassault Falcon 900 (registered V5-NAM) for VIP transport.


PH-KBX (Etienne Jong)
PH-KBX (Etienne Jong)

The Netherlands government operates a Fokker 70 (F28-0070) as a means of transport for the Dutch Royal family and government officials, such as the prime minister and other ministers. It is used to attend international conferences, but also for private trips by the Queen and the Prince Royal. The registration is PH-KBX; PH for the Netherlands and KBX for 'Koningin BeatriX' or 'Queen Beatrix'. The previous aircraft, a Fokker F28, was registered PH-PBX, with PBX for 'Princess BeatriX'. The aircraft is maintained by KLM Cityhopper. Furthermore, a Gulfstream IV of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) with registration code V-11 is available as well.

New Zealand

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

The Royal New Zealand Airforce maintain 2 Boeing 757-200 which are occasionally used to transport the Prime Minister, various government officials as well as the head of state 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.


Nigerian Presidential Jet
Nigerian Presidential Jet

The Nigerian Air Force currently maintains a Boeing Business Jet (737) as a means of transport for the President of Nigeria. The plane 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 are a Gulfstream V, a Gulfstream IVSP, and two Falcon 900s. One of the Falcon 900s and a BAe 800 were commandered from the national oil company and the central bank respectively, by the former military government. But the BAe 800 and a Cessna Citattion Bravo were orded to be returned to the Air Force for military use by President Yar'Adua in Jan, 2009.


The air transport of the King and Prime Minister of Norway is mostly handled by commercial airliners (such as Scandinavian Airlines) 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.


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 Government Transport, the government carrier, currently operates an Airbus A310 and one new Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV Gulfstream IV-SP to transport government officials for the President and Prime Minister's use. The plane is commonly called "PAK ONE", the callsign under which it operates. The government also used Boeing 747 in the past from Pakistan International Airlines, the national flag carrier.

Before it came into service, Boeing 707s had served as the primary presidential aircraft. President Muhammad Zia-ul-haq used a LockheedC-130Bfor his trips. Previous Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto used a Boeing 737for their official trips. The airliner was maintained by Pakistan Government Transport. The Pakistan Air Force plans to purchase a Gulfstream V for transportation of high-ranking government officials and foreign dignitaries. These aircraft are based at Chaklala Airbase near the capital city of Islamabad.

PIA always transport the Presidents and Prime Ministers of Pakistan on overseas visits. During the late 1990s, Prime Minister Sharif's govternment bought a Boeing 737-300[24] 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 February 2007 the government of Qatar gifted one of their VIP fleet A310[25] to the Pakistani government, this has ended the need for PIA planes.

A new executive jet has been acquired for use by President Pervez Musharraf, raising the number of aircraft in the VVIP fleet to 14.The 10-seater Learjet is one of the three planes whose procurement was approved by former prime minister Shaukat Aziz.

The country’s VVIP fleet includes G-IV, Cessna Citation V, Cessna Citation Excel, Learjet 35, Learjet 45 XR, Raytheon Hawker 400, Falcon 20, Cessna Conquest II, Bell 412 helicopters (3) MI-17 helicopter Airbus A310-300 and now the new LearJet .

Two other jets ordered may land in Pakistan after the elections. These jets are for personal use of president and prime minister.

The value of the new luxury jet was about $60million. As Dawn Newspaper reported on 30/11/2007.


While a fleet of elderly DC-8s are maintained by the Peruvian Air Force, FAA repair station,"SEMAN" and Central Purchasing , the official aircraft of the President of Peru used to be a Boeing 737-500. It was purchased under dubious circumstances in 1995; then-president Alberto Fujimori's brother Santiago Fujimori was criminally charged for 'recommending' the multi-million dollar investment, which was seen as a frivolous purchase for a third-world country such as Peru.

The aircraft sported the Flag of Peru on the vertical fin, a white fuselage with a black underbelly with red pinstripes, and the words "República del Perú" adorning the front, with the Coat of Arms of Peru displayed on the side. Its Peruvian Air Force designator was FAP 356.

The aircraft was sold by Alan García´s government, due to the bad reputation presidential trips had among the population.

Today, the President travels on commercial airlines.

The Philippines

The 250th (Presidential) Airlift Wing of the Philippine Air Force has the mandate of providing safe and efficient air transport for 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, 4 Bell 412 helicopters, 3 Sikorsky S-76 helicopters, 2 Aérospatiale SA-330 Puma helicopters, 1 Sikorsky S-70-5 Black Hawk, a number of Bell UH-1N Hueys, as well as Fokker F-27 Friendships. For trips outside of the Philippines, the Air Force employs a Bombardier Learjet 60 or charters appropriate aircraft from Philippine Airlines.

Prior to 1962, the Air Force chartered aircraft from Pan American World Airways as the international services of Philippine Airlines were suspended. For short-haul flights, Boeing 737s were initially used and have since been replaced by the Airbus A320. For medium- to long-haul flights, Boeing 747-400s were initially used; their roles are now being fulfilled by the Airbus A340-300. The aircraft with the callsign PR 001 is a special plane operated by Philippine Airlines to transport the President of the Philippines.

A Presidential Helicopter Bell 412 crashed on April 7, 2009 at Ifugao Province North of Manila. On board were 8 people including two cabinet undersecretaries and other military men. The flight is en route to Ifugao from Baguio City as an advanced party of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo when Loakan Airport Tower lost communication with the aircraft several minutes after take off.


The Polish Air Force maintains two modified TU-154s to transport the President (aircraft tail number 101) and Prime Minister (102).Additionally a number of Yak-40s , PZL M28 Bryza and Mi-8 helicopters are used for domestic transportation and bell 412.


The Portuguese Air Force operates two 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. Additionally, for similar use, the Portuguese Air Force maintains three (but operates only one) Dassault Falcon 20 built in 1984.

Usually, for long range flights, Airbus A340 and Airbus A330 from TAP Portugal are used.


Romania operates one Boeing 707, YR-ABB, used by the President and one BAC 1-11, YR-BRE used mostly by the Prime-Minister. Also a SA-365 Dauphin is used for internal transport. The operator of these flights is the Ministry of National Defense owned Romavia.

Russian Federation

Honor guard in front of Ilyushin Il-96 on Zagreb Airport, Croatia, during the visit of the Russian president
Honor guard in front of Ilyushin Il-96 on Zagreb Airport, Croatia, during the visit of the Russian president

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. 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.

Mil Mi-8 VIP helicopters are also used for domestic air transport.

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian Royal Flight operates a Boeing 747-300 (Registered HZ-HM1A), and a Boeing 747-400 for use by the King of Saudi Arabia.


The Avio Service of Serbia is responsible for transporting of the Serbian President, the Prime Minister and other Serbian government officials. It operates a Dassault Falcon 50 (YU-BNA) and a Learjet 31A (YU-BNZ). The government sometimes also uses a Yak-40s aircraft of the Serbian Air Force.


The President and Prime Minister of Singapore has been known to travel by a chartered aircraft, mostly a Boeing 777 from Singapore Airlines. On short haul flights, for example around Southeast Asia, a Republic of Singapore Air Force Fokker 50 is used by the PM for travel.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka has no presidential aircraft, 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 412EP.


The Slovak Government Flying Service operates two Tupolev Tu-154s, two Yakovlev Yak-40s and number of helicopters for use by the President of Slovakia, Prime Minister of Slovakia and government officials. Prime minister several times used also commercial flights for transport to show he is saving public funds. At the same time planes of Slovak Government Flying Service flyed empty according to need of training of pilots.

South Africa

The President of South Africa travels in a Boeing 737-7ED (BBJ) operated by the South African Air Force's 21 Squadron, which is based at AFB Waterkloof near Pretoria, one of South Africa's capital cities.

South Korea

Currently, the president of the Republic of Korea uses a Boeing 737-300 aircraft. But due to its short range, it is only used in short flights to Japan or China. While using long flights, the president borrows a Boeing 747-400 from Asiana Airlines or Korean Air. The Blue House is thinking of replacing the Korean Air Force One to a wide-body jet such as a Boeing 787 or an Airbus A350. The livery consists of a largely white body with a grey belly and a light blue cheatline. The country's name is written in both Korean and English on the side and the flag is on the tail. The plane's registration is 85101. The UH-60 is the presidential helicopter.


The Spanish Air Force (Spanish: Ejército del Aire) operates 2 customized Airbus A310, 5 Falcon 900, and several helicopters for transportation of the King, the Prime Minister, high ranking government officials and the Royal Family. These transportation services are provided by the 45th Group of the Air Force, based in Torrejón Air Base, 24 kilometers (15 miles) away from Madrid.


The Swedish Air Force Transport Squadron Bromma (Stockholm), based on Stockholm-Bromma Airport in the City of Stockholm, operates the State Flight (Swedish: Statsflyget). It forms part of the Special Flying Unit (Swedish: Specialflygenheten Malmen), which in its turn is a part of the Blekinge Wing (F 17). Currently it operates two Gulfstream G.IV aircraft:

  • Air Force type TP102A (tail no. 102001, call sign SVF 21)
  • Air Force type TP102C (tail no. 102004, call sign SVF 24)

Also a Cessna Citation II is operated. The aircrafts serve the official transport needs of His Majesty The King and other members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers, and senior Swedish Armed Forces officers.


The Swiss Air Force's Cessna Citation Excel
The Swiss Air Force's Cessna Citation Excel

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

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 6 Air Transport Squadron (Lufttransportstaffel 6) also operates a number of Super Puma helicopters, one of which is configured constantly as a VIP transport for domestic use and another one can be configured as a VIP transport.


The Tanzania Government Flight Agency operates a Gulfstream G550 for VIP transports.


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

The 602 Royal Guard also operates an Airbus A319 and Airbus A310-300 for the Royal flight and VIP's flight.

The Royal Thai Government used to use an Airbus A319 named "Thai Ku Fah" for government flights in PM Thaksin era. Now the Airbus A319 has been moved to the Royal Thai Air Force to operate for Royal and VIP flight.

HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn also own a Boeing 737-400. This aircraft is the HRH's private plane and he also fly this aircraft himself.

The Royal Thai Air Force's 402 Royal Guard Squadron, a helicopter unit, uses Bell 412STs for Royal flights. The helicopters are expected to be replaced, as they are approaching the lifetime limit for VIP duty. The replacement for this helicopters are Sikorsky S-92 Superhawk. Expected to deliver in 2010 for Royal flight and VIP flight.


The Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey has two specially configured Aircraft for its use. The first and main mode of air transport (namely, for use in Europe, Middle East and Africa) is a specially configured Airbus A319-115X CJ registered as TC-ANA. The call sign for this aircraft is TCANA (English: Turkish Republic-MOTHER). [1] The other aircraft at the Turkish Prime Minister's disposal is a specially configured and highly customized Gulfstream G550. This is mainly used for long range missions. In addition to the abovementioned aircraft the Turkish Prime Minister also has at his or her disposal several VIP Boeing and Airbus aircraft which are maintained by Turkish Airlines, the national carrier of the Turkish Republic.

The President of the Republic of Turkey uses a Gulfstream Aerospace G-IV VIP Jet registered TC-ATA, but again has several special VIP aircraft of Turkish Airlines at his or her disposal. The call sign for this aircraft is TCATA (English: Turkish Republic-ANCESTOR). [2] The call sign ATA has a resemblance with the word 'father' in Turkish. This word not only implies to ancestors in retrospect, but also pinpoints the leading figure in a family or in a country (cf. Ataturk-the Father of Turks or the Leading Turk). On that ground, TC-ATA (Alpha-Tango-Alpha) signifies the Turkish State Leader, and yet a memoir filled with affection, to the position which was originally chaired by Ataturk himself.

All government VIP aircraft are manned and maintained by Turkish Air Force personnel.


A Boeing 767-300ER (EZ-A700) was delivered in October 2004 for use of the President of Turkmenistan.


Ukraine uses IL-62 for the President and Tupolev 134 for the Prime Minister as well as Yak-40 and Mi-8 for shorter trips. A new Airbus 319 with extended range is to be delivered in 2008 to replace the IL-62.

A BAe 146 aircraft, delivered to the Queen's Flight in 1986 and now part of The Royal Squadron
A BAe 146 aircraft, delivered to the Queen's Flight in 1986 and now part of The Royal Squadron

United Kingdom

Air transport for the British monarch, other members of Royal Family, the Prime Minister and other minister of the British Government is provided by either No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF), chartered civilian aircraft or scheduled commercial flights (mostly British Airways).

United States

One of the United States Air Force Boeing VC-25s used by the President and executives of the United States
One of the United States Air Force Boeing VC-25s used by the President and executives of the United States

The President and Vice President of the United States use two customized Boeing 747-200B jetliners. These aircraft carry the military designation VC-25A.

The callsign of any military aircraft that currently carries the President is called that military branch name followed by "One", such as Air Force 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 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".


The President of Uruguay, Tabare Vazquez, uses an Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, operated by the Uruguayan Air Force for flights within South America or a chartered Pluna Boeing 767 for long-distance flights.


President George W. Bush walks the red carpet with Pope Benedict XVI. Behind is
President George W. Bush walks the red carpet with Pope Benedict XVI. Behind is "Shepherd One" the plane that transported the Pope.

Typically, the Pope flies on a chartered Alitalia Jet. The tradition is for the Pope to fly to the country he is visiting on a chartered Alitalia jet and to return on a jet belonging to a flag carrier from the visited nation. But when touring multiple nations this could turn odd. For example, when Pope John Paul II visited South America in May 1988, he came 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. Back then, Líneas Aéreas Paraguayas' longest-range aircraft were Boeings 707-320Bs, which had to stop in Dakar to refuel. However, he politely traveled within the country in a LAP jet, which incidentally carried the distinguished visitor's coat of arms in the forward fuselage as courtesy. The pope's aircraft was nicknamed "Shepherd One" by Americans after Pope Benedict XVI's visit to New York and Washington in 2008. 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.Pope Benedict XVI returned to Rome from Brazil on Alitalia. The Pope's plane is often referred to as "Shepherd 1", inspired by a biblical reference.


An Airbus A319CJ serves as the presidential transport for President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez [3].

Yugoslavia (former)

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


Perhaps one of the most controversial air transports for a head of state was that of Zaire leader Mobutu Sese Seko, who leased a supersonic Concorde in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The jet, obtained from Air France, was based at Gbadolite and was not only used for diplomatic missions but also for European shopping trips for the ruler's wealthy family. There was also a Boeing 707 (registration number 9T-MSS) that was used for a while and has been stored in Lisbon since 1996, as well as a Boeing 727 (9Q-RDZ).

See also

External links

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Published in July 2009.

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