The South African government has once again sparked controversy over a tender to acquire a R4 billion private plane for the South African presidency.
The City Press reported on Sunday (8 November) that an acquisition process by Armscor is aimed at providing president Jacob Zuma and the presidency with a new VIP jet which could cost up to R4 billion.
According to the report, the specifications for the jet include a “private bedroom suite, a bathroom, and a conference room for eight people”.
“The aircraft must be able to carry at least 30 passengers and have a range of 13,800km,” stated the report.
According to the City Press’ findings, there are only a handful of planes that match the tender’s requirements:
- A basic Boeing 777 which costs about R3.9 billion
- The Boeing 787 which costs about R3.1 billion
- The Airbus which A330 costs about R3 billion
- The Airbus A340 which costs about R3.1 billion
Specifically, only one of the listed planes can reach the needed distances: the Boeing 787.
Boeing offers a 787 as part of its Business Jets line (BBJ) in two models, the 787-8 (225square metres of space) and the 787-9 (260 square metres of space).
The BBJ classes offer 3.53m of interior width, with the 9 class the longer of the two planes at 48.4m vs the 8 class, which is 42.3m long.
While the plane developer states that interiors can be shaped and changed in line with a client’s requirements, it shows off what its planes could look like inside.