Cabinet approves VIP plane purchase
B8.7 billion budgeted for jet to replace ageing Airbus A340
published : 27 Jan 2023 at 19:57
writer: Wassana Nanuam
The government has approved a plan to procure a new aircraft to transport VIPs at a cost of 8.7 billion baht spread over four years.
The acquisition, to be funded from a tied-over budget from 2024-27, was proposed by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat Office to replace the current ageing Airbus A340.
The Airbus A340 is used to transport VIPs, including members of the royal family, members of the privy council, the prime minister and guests of the Thai government.
It is a second-hand plane that was purchased from Thai Airways International, commissioned into service in 2015 and maintained by the air force.
The jet is also used in non-combat military missions such as repatriations and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
The cost would be broken down into 1.75 billion baht in the first year, 2.19 billion for the second year, 2.2 billion for the third year and 2.63 billion baht for the final year.
The current VIP jet is scheduled for an airworthiness assessment in 2026, but since manufacturing of the Airbus A340-500 was discontinued in 2012, maintenance and repair costs have increased, said a source familiar with the decision.
The proposal was approved by the cabinet on Tuesday.