New Air Force One for President Lula
By the end of the year the Brazilian presidency will have a brand new state of the art 56,7 million US dollars ACJ Airbus replacing an old junky Boeing 707 built in the seventies.
According to the Brazilian Planning Ministry the "obsolescence" of the presidential fleet and the fact that they do not comply with international flight regulations from the International Organization of Civil Aviation justify the significant investment.
The Brazilian presidential fleet also includes a Boeing 737 which is "extremely fuel costly and logistically outdated". The new Airbus will be paid in several instalments and have all the necessary communications and safety equipment for the transportation of the Brazilian president.
Alexander García, an airline analyst interviewed by the Brazilian press said the price was "reasonable", given the state of the art equipment the future Brazilian Air Force One will have.
"Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez bought a similar Airbus 319 in 2002 and paid 77 million US dollars".
The ACJ, according to Airbus has a cabin with double the space and three times the volume of regular business aircrafts, and is built on the A-319 model with a computerized "fly-by-wire" system and automatic landing.
The "junky" Boeing 707 as Brazilians call the current presidential aircraft was involved in a dangerous landing accident in 1999, in Amsterdam, when one of its four turbines exploded.
Both Boeing and European Airbus were invited by the Brazilian Air Force to participate in the provision of the new presidential aircraft, but no official tender was called because of "national security" reasons.
Both Boeings 707 and 737 were purchased from Varig airlines in 1986.