The President of France, Nicholas Sarkozy has always dreamt of having his own presidential jet to rival America’s Air Force One. At the cost of 176 million Euros an aircraft is being readied which is being unofficially called “Air Sarko One”. The aircraft will come complete with a bedroom, an air filter system that enables him to smoke cigars and a shower.
It is an Airbus A330-200 which has already completed its test flights in Bordeaux and the internal fittings are scheduled to be completed by the end of October. The presidential plane when ready will feature a 12 man meeting room, 60 Business Class seats, a top grade encrypted communications systems, a reinforced fuselage and a missile decoy system. The jet was purchased for refit from tourist airline Air Caraibes. Some people are questioning the timing of this move when the winds of austerity is blowing through Europe and other leaders are reigning in their perks voluntarily.
David Cameron has made great play of his decision to travel on commercial flights as part of the Government’s austerity drive. Mr Sarkozy’s government yesterday rebutted claims that the new presidential plane was an extravagance. They claimed it was simply a desire to have equipment fitting for the world’s fifth power.