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(File photo) Bombardier Learjet 60XR Alamy Stock Photo
buy or lease

Buying a new Govt jet under consideration as current plane is 'nearing the end of life'

The Air Corps Learjet was purchased in 2004.

A NEW GOVERNMENT jet may have to be bought as the current plane is “nearing the end of its natural life”. 

The Learjet has been out of action for repair in recent months and has been unavailable for 35% of the year to date.

The Taoiseach has had to use the CASA maritime patrol aircraft and commercial flights for some trips. 

However, the Taoiseach was recently left stranded in Brussels after an Air Corps aircraft scheduled to fly him home went out of service at the last minute.

While the Taoiseach used the Learjet to return back to Ireland from Brussels yesterday, a Government spokesperson confirmed to political correspondents today that there have been mounting issues with the plane.

They said “all options are on the table” such as the possibility of purchasing a new plane or leasing a new jet. 

“There has been issues,” they said, adding that as part of a wider review of defence spending, a number of options are being considered. 

The situation has to be addressed, they concluded.

The Air Corps Learjet was purchased in 2004 and has been in operation for seventeen years. 

The Government once had two jets, but the Gulfstream IV plane was sold in 2017 €418,000.

There was controversy at the time over the sale price given that the jet was valued at somewhere in the region of €750,000. It was bought in 1992 for €45 million.

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