Wednesday 24 October 2018

Government's ailing ministerial jet sold for over €460,000

The impressive interior of the Gulfstream IV.
The impressive interior of the Gulfstream IV.
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

The Gulfstream IV - one of two jets used for ministerial travel - was grounded in the US last summer after problems were discovered during routine maintenance.

The jet was sold to a US based company in December for a price of US$500,000, can confirm.

The jet has been used by successive governments over the past 23 years. A report will now be compiled for the Government to recommend the best option for air travel for the President, members of the Government and accompanying officials.

A spokesperson for the Department of Defence said: “The Department concluded the sale for the aircraft on an as seen basis with a US based company in December 2014 for a price of $500,000 USD”

“An inter-Departmental Ministerial Air Transport Service (MATS) Review Group has been established to examine options for the future provision of a service that will continue to provide the President, members of the Government and accompanying officials with an independent means of international air transport," the spokesperson said.

"When the Group has completed its deliberations and made its recommendations, the Minister for Defence will bring a report to Government with recommendations on how best to provide a MATS into the future.”

The Gulfstream IV aircraft underwent annual maintenance in July 2014 at the Gulfstream Aerospace facility in Georgia, USA.

It became apparent that the servicing and repair of the aircraft would have involved a significantly higher level of investment than was anticipated, the Department spokesperson said.

 “Given the number of flying hours achieved and the age of the craft it was decided that the aircraft would be withdrawn from service and would not be returned back to Ireland," the spokesperson said.

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