Unlike most other countries, their Prime Minister does not have a dedicated presidential plane(s) for his trips rather flies as a passenger (in whatever class) on their British Airways or flies in a chartered private plane.
|A330 Voyager Air-Fuel Tanker. Image courtesy of Foxtrot Alpha.|
But it seems like that wasn’t still good enough as he is soon to start flying in the Voyager A330 mid-air refueling aircraft. Essentially, an air-fuel tanker.
According to the BBC, “Cameron’s flights were costing over $10,000 per airborne hour on “Royal Squadron planes or long haul charter,” but that figure will drop to just $3,000 on the refitted Voyager. That’s reportedly going to save English taxpayers almost $1.2 million a year.
The Royal Air Force says their Voyager A330s have seating for almost 300 people in their standard configuration, though the BBC reports converting the plane to carry Cameron and company will cost about $15 million dollars. The refit is said to include 158 new seats (which must be real nice) and adding facilities for more secure communications”.
|A330 Voyager refueling another aircraft mid-air. Image courtesy of Think Defense.|
The Voyager which has a 112 ton fuel capacity and 47-ton freight payload limit sometimes also is leased out for other duties when the military doesn’t need them.
Isn’t this just interesting for a government to make these sacrifices for her people but i am also bothered if considering the major cargo it should be carrying if it won’t jeopardise the VIP now to also be carried.
By the way, Nigeria has about 11 dedicated aircrafts in her Presidential Fleet. Wonders.