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article imageFrench president Sarkozy orders £150 million plane

By Lynn Curwin     Jul 30, 2010 in Politics
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will soon have a £150 million (€176 million) presidential jet. The Airbus A330-200 is being called Air Sarko One.
The plane was taken on its first test flight, in southwestern France, and fittings are due to be completed by October, reported The Telegraph.
Plans for the plane include a bedroom, shower, 12-man meeting room, 60 business class seats, encrypted communications systems, air filer system, a reinforced fuselage and missile decoy system.
The Telegraph said Sarkozy is understood to have long envied the luxurious conditions in US President Barack Obama’s Boeing 747-200B, and has complained that his two Airbus A319s lacked presidential stature. The new plane will have a wingspan two feet longer than the US one.
Sarkozy has been criticized for spending so much money on the plane. He recently ordered ministers to cut spending.
Alain Joyandet, secretary of state for overseas development, gave up his position after it was reported that he had spent €116,500 to fly to the Caribbean on a private jet.
Shortly after that Christian Blanc, state secretary for the Greater Paris region, resigned after it became known that he had spent €12,000 of the taxpayer’s money on Cuban cigars.
Luc Chatel, a government spokesman, said the cost of the new jet will be offset by the sale of two jet currently being used. The planes being sold are expected to go for about €20 million.
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