Air transports of heads of state and government
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Air transport for heads of state and government officials is, in many countries, provided by special aircraft. 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.
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. 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.
In the US, 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.
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. 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.
In the postwar period, governments around the world have instituted similar provisions for the official aerial transportation of their heads of state and government.
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:
- T-01 (Tango 01) Boeing 757-200
- T-02 Fokker F-28-4000 Fellowship
- T-03 Fokker F-28-1000C Fellowship
- T-04 Boeing 737-500
- T-10 Learjet 60
- H-01 Sikorsky S-70A Black Hawk
- H-02 Sikorsky S-76B
- H-03 Sikorsky S-76B
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.
The President of Azerbaijan uses a Boeing 767-300 "Baku-1", equipped with jamming equipment, anti-missile systems and air-to-air refueling facility. This airplane is named after country's capital city Baku.
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 was used until being phased out on September 29, 2016. 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 for carrying the staff and entourage.
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. 1 Gulfstream IV, 1 Gulfstream G550 and 1 Gulfstream G650. Also 1 Sikorsky S-92 and 1 Bell 430 helicopters.
Dates of delivery or order:
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.
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.
The King and the Government of Bhutan use an Airbus A319 from the national flag carrier Druk Air for all travels.
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.
- 1 x Falcon 900EX EASy M-ATOS used as Presidential Aircraft.
- 1 x Dassault Falcon 50EX used by the executive branch.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
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 and long-range travel. 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:
- A modified VIP-configured Airbus A319 (VC-1A) "Santos-Dumont" used on all international flights carrying the President.
- Two modified VIP-configured Embraer 190 jets, "Bartolomeu de Gusmão" and "Augusto Severo", used on domestic and regional flights carrying the President.
- Two VIP-configured Eurocopter Super Puma (VH-34) presidential helicopters.
- Two VIP-configured Embraer ERJ-135 (VC-99C) aircraft.
- Ten Embraer ERJ-145 (C-99A) aircraft.
- Three Gates Learjet 35 (VU-35) jets.
The fleet is headquartered at the Brasília Air Force Base (BABR).
His Majesty The Sultan's Flight (HMSF) has several aircraft in VIP configuration, designed by Reese Design and modified by L3 Communications, on which to travel internationally. The fleet of aircraft is used exclusively for the Sultan of Brunei and members of the Royal Family.
- Boeing 767-200ER In service 1992. Bought for approx $113m and $120m outfit
- Boeing 747-400 In service 1990. Bought for approx $100m and $120m outfit
- Airbus A340-200 In service 1997. Bought for approx $100m and $120m outfit
- 2 x Sikorsky S-70A In service 1997
The Royal Canadian Air Force 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.
Nowadays, the transportation is under the responsibility of the Chilean Air Force, which operates the following aircraft:
- 1 Boeing 737-500
- 1 Beechcraft 200 King Air
- 1 Gulfstream IV
- 1 Boeing 767-300ER. This aircraft was bought to replace the Boeing 737 in transcontinental flights. As of 2009[update] it is the only VIP FACh aircraft which uses the standard Chilean military livery, considering its multipurpose as VIP and freight transporter.
Formerly, FACh used a Boeing 707-320C which is still in service for military purposes.
China (People's Republic of China)
Air transportation for the President, Premier or 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 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. It had since been converted back to a normal passenger airliner and transferred to Air China as B-2499.
A commercial Air China Boeing 747-4J6 is converted for international travel when necessary. The plane is registered as B-2472. It is specially retrofitted during official use and returns to commercial service afterwards.
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.
Hong Kong (People's Republic of China)
Macau (People's Republic of China)
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.
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).
In 2005, Colombia acquired the following aircraft for presidential transport:
|Embraer Legacy 600||1|
|Lear Jet 60||1|
|Helicopter Bell 412||2|
|Helicopter Sikorsky UH60||1|
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.
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, a low-visibility grey VIP-configured Croatian Air Force Mi-8MTV-1 is used for helicopter transport.
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 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.
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.
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, 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.
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. 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.
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.
Presidential and governmental (VIP) fleet
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:
|Beechcraft Super King Air||USA||4|
|Dassault Falcon 20||France||3|
|Sikorsky H-3 Sea King||USA||2|
|Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk||USA||2|
|Westland Commando MK-2B||UK||2|
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.
The Finnish Air Force operates three Learjet 35 aircraft with limited transport capability for use by senior government and military officals. Prime minister Juha Sipilä has a type raiting certificate to fly the Cessna 525 CitationJet, he has flown on a Scanwings Cessna 525 (OH-WIX) at least 14 times, the longest trip was to Ulan Bator in 2016. The government also leases private jets from companies such as Jetflite Oy.
The president and cabinet ministers usually travel on commercial flights.
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.
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.
The airfleet used by Germany's senior government officials consists of eleven aircraft:
- 2 x Airbus A340-313X VIP including the "Konrad Adenauer"
- 2 x Airbus A319-133X CJ
- 4 x Bombardier Global 5000
- 3 x Eurocopter AS532 Cougar
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. 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.
Georgian Airways operated single Bombardier Challenger 850 since 2007 to carry President of Georgia and Government. In 2011 Gulfstream 450 was added to inventory, possibly replacing Challenger in VIP transport role.
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.
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.
Air India One (AIC001) is the call-sign of any aircraft with the President of India, or the Prime Minister of India on board. Since 2003, four Boeing 747-437B, equipped with jamming equipment, anti-missile systems and air-to-air refuelling facility, have been used as Air India One. The aircraft are operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The IAF's Air Headquarters Communications Squadron, based at Indira Gandhi International Airport (formerly Palam Air Force Base) in New Delhi, is in charge of operating these aircraft. Other than the Air India One, there are three more aircraft used when President, Vice President or Prime Minister makes domestic tours. These are specially designed Boeing 737BBJ named Rajdoot, Rajhans and Rajkamal.
The Government of India uses national flagcarrier Air India 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, which is also equipped with security specifications. 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.
As a sprawling vast archipelagic nation, 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.
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. The government claimed the cost of operating its own aircraft would be lower than chartering Garuda aircraft. 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, which includes a modest self-defense system.
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.
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.
The Irish Ministerial Air Transport Service (MATS) is part of the Irish Air Corps, it provides secure transport to the President of Ireland, An Taoiseach, An Tánaiste, and members of the government and their staff, both within and outside Ireland.
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 the 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. As of 2014[update], the Knesset is considering the purchase of such an airplane, dubbed "Israeli Air Force One".
- 1 x Airbus A340-541 (leased from Etihad Airways)
- 3 x Airbus A319CJ (1 retired and for sale, replaced by the A340-500)
- 3 x Falcon 900EC (2 retired and for sale)
- 2 x Falcon 900EAsy
- 2 x Dassault Falcon 50EX
- 2 x Agusta Westland AW-139
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 five Dassault Falcon 900 (3 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.
The Jamaican government charters either an Airbus A333 for long hauls and or a Boeing BJ 738 for short-hauls.
As well as having Bell 206's/407's/412's at their disposal from their JDF (Jamaica Defense Force) fleet.
The Governor General of Jamaica, has his own transportation of a BAe 146 provided by her majesty The Queen from her Squadron RAF No. 32.
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). 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. The 747s will be replaced by new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in fiscal year 2019.
The Kazakhstan government fleet consists of the following aircraft (August 2015):
- 1 x Boeing 737-700 BBJ
- 1 x Airbus A320
- 1 x Airbus A321
- 1 x Tupolev Tu-154
- 1 x Boeing 757
- 1 x Airbus A330-200
The government of Kenya operated a Fokker 70 in 2015. Prior to the purchase of the Fokker, the Kenyan President primarily used Kenya Airways for his international travel. The Presidential fleet also includes Bombardier Dash 8 and Aerospatiale Puma, mostly for domestic travel.
Until April 2013, the Emir of Kuwait used a Boeing 747; since then he has used one of two Airbus A340-500 airframes equipped with military defense equipment to protect the plane from any potential attacks. It is also used by the Crown Prince of Kuwait. A Boeing 747-8 is on order and to be used by the Emir in future.
The rest of the official state aircraft used by senior ruling family members and cabinet members:
- 1 x Airbus A300
- 1 x Airbus A310 carry the Emir's security, which flies 48 hours before the Emir's departure
- 1 x Airbus A319 used by the Government
- 1 x Airbus A320-200 used by the Government
- 2 x Airbus A340-500 used by the Emir of Kuwait, the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister.
- 1 x Boeing 737-900ER used by the Government
- 1 x Boeing 747-8 On order and to be used by the Emir of Kuwait
- 1 x Gulfstream G550 used by the Government
- 4 x Gulfstream V used by the Government
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 001" as a special call sign when they are transporting the president.
The government of Madagascar operated a Boeing 737-300 in 2015.
The government of Mali operated a Boeing 737-700/BBJ in 2015.
As of February 2016, the air fleet of the President of Mexico has a total of 18 aircraft which are described below:
- 1 x Boeing 787-8
- 1 x Boeing 757-200
- 2 x Boeing 737-300
- 2 x Gulfstream III
- 2 x Learjet 35A
- 1 x Rockwell Turbo Commander 695A
- 1 x Gulfstream GIV (operated by the Mexican Navy)
- 2 x Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma
- 5 x Aerospatiale AS332 Super Puma
- 2 x Aerospatiale SA330 Puma
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 February 10, 2016.
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.
- 1× Boeing 747-48EM
- 1 x Boeing 737-8KB(BBJ2) for exclusive use by the King of Morocco and the royal family ;
- 2 x Citation XLS
- 2 x Citation V
- 1 x Falcon 50
- 1 x Falcon 100
- 1 x Gulfstream II
- 1 x Gulfstream III
- 1 x Gulfstream G550
- 1 x AgustaWestland AW139
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.
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.
The Netherlands government operates 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 is used to attend international conferences, but also for private trips by the King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima. 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. The aircraft is to be retired in 2017, in line with the withdrawal of the Fokker 70 from KLM Cityhopper's fleet.
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 flies with KLM Cityhopper on scheduled flights.
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.
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.
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.
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 September 11' 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.
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.
The official aircraft of the President of Peru is a Boeing 737-500 acquired in 1995 during Alberto Fujimori's presidency and has been controversial since, mainly due to the scandals that occurred with it during Alejandro Toledo's administration.
It has been consistently reported that 169–176 kg of cocaine (the quantity depends on the source) were found in the aircraft in 1996. This incident actually occurred on 11 May of that year, but the aircraft in question was a Peruvian Air Force Douglas DC-8 in cargo configuration (that operated as presidential aircraft until the acquisition of the Boeing and could explain the confusion) that was about to depart on a mission to Russia (with stopovers at the Canary Islands and Bordeaux), carrying military aviation equipment for maintenance. The scandal remains a mystery as of today, because the drug's origin and destiny were never determined and the investigations were compromised by Fujimori's corrupt government (one of the crew members was his aide-de-camp) and his shadowy intelligence advisor Vladimiro Montesinos (himself a former army member and head of the now-disbanded and infamous SIN). Only the material authors, a bunch of low-ranking officers, were processed, and were later acquitted, as Montesinos himself in 2012.
The aircraft sports the Marca Perú's logo on the vertical fin, a white fuselage with a black underbelly with red pinstripes, and the words "República del Perú" adorning the sides, with 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.
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. Prior to 1962, the Air Force chartered aircraft from Pan American World Airways as the international services of Philippine Airlines were suspended. For shorter flights, Boeing 737s were initially used and have since been replaced by the Airbus A320 and Airbus A321.
PAL Boeing 747-400s were used for medium to long-haul flights until their retirement in September 2014. Their roles are now being fulfilled by the Airbus A340-300, the Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER.
Since May 2010 the Government of Poland operates 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. 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 parliment speakers onboard. The flights carried by LOT are operated with both the rules of the civil procedures and in line with the unofficial civil HEAD instruction.
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. In 2016 the new polish government launched the VIP jets acquisition programme to procure two small business jets for 16 passengers and two medium size airliners for 65 passengers to be delivered by 2021. On 14 November 2016 the Polish Ministry of Defence signed the deal to buy two Gulfstream G550 VIP planes with delivery expected by the end of 2017.
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, was destroyed in 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash on 10 April 2010. The remaining Tu-154M, No. 102, was retired along with all Air Force Yak-40s in 2011, while 36th Regiment was disbanded.
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).
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.
As of 2016, Romania no longer has an official aircraft, but a project to acquire one or more has been approved.
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. The aircraft is reported to have an escape capsule, much like the one featured in the film Air Force One.
The Russian government fleet consists of the following aircraft (April 2016):
|Dassault Falcon 7X||2||—|
|Sukhoi Superjet 100||2||—|
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.
However, on rare occasions or short trips, government officials may travel on one of the few passenger-configured Fokker-50 operated by the Republic of Singapore Air Force or private chartered flights from Pacific Flight Services on a Gulfstream G550
The Slovak Government Flying Service operates one Airbus 319 - 115 ACE, two Fokker 100 and one Tupolev Tu-154M. The Slovak Government Flying Service operates also two helicopters Bell 429 for Slovak Police and two helicopters Mil-171 for use by the President, Prime Minister and government officials.
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.
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.
Callsign- South Africa 1 (one).
As of April 2010, the President of the Republic of Korea uses 2 CASA CN-235s, a Boeing 737-300 aircraft and a Boeing 747-400, leased from Korean Air for next five years. 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 registration is 85101. The Sikorsky S-92 is the presidential helicopter.
The Spanish Air Force (Spanish: Ejército del Aire) operates 2 customized Airbus A310, 5 Falcon 900, for transportation of the King, the President of the Government, 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 President of the Government of Spain.
An Airbus A340-311 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.
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 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.
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. All aircraft serve the official transport needs of His Majesty the King and other members of the Swedish Royal Family, the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers, and senior Swedish Armed Forces officers.
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.
The 6th Air Transport Squadron 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.
Republic of China (Taiwan)
Air transportation for the President or other high-ranking officials of Republic of China (Taiwan) 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. 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 operated by government-owned commercial airline, China Airlines, usually be 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.
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, and the A319CJ are maintained by Thai Airways International, the Embraer ERJ-135LRs are maintained by Royal Thai Army.
The government of Tunisia operates a Boeing 737 BBJ.
The government of Turkey has a VIP fleet which is managed by Turkish Airlines on behalf of the President of the Republic and Prime Minister. The fleet primarily consists of an Airbus A319 CJ(TC-ANA) and a highly modified and armed (Air Defense missiles) Airbus A330-200 PRESTIGE (TC-TUR). The fleet additionally contains 2 G550, 2 GIV and 2 Cessna Citation V. When the President of the Turkish Republic of any aircraft the call-sign is "Turkish Republic One- Heavy". But the new Air Force One from Turkey is the new Airbus A340-542 Vip (TC-TRK).
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. In addition, the Ugandan president uses Mil Mi-17 registered to the Uganda People's Defence Force for internal flights.
United Arab Emirates
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
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.
No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron of the Royal Air Force maintains a fleet of Agusta A109 helicopters and 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.
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 uses VIP configured military aircraft for the Royal Family.
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.
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) or if not a military plane executive. 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.
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 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. 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. 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.
A Boeing 777-200ER chartered from Vietnam Airlines is often used for international and long haul flights. For domestic and short haul flights, an Airbus A321 is chartered from Vietnam Airlines.
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. 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. 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. 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.
Former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito used many aircraft during his term as president. The most notable aircraft types in service were the Douglas DC-6, Ilyushin Il-18, Sud Aviation Caravelle and Boeing 727.
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.
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.
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