Pictures of the Day: Do we really need luxury jets?

Posted on July 20, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Economy & Development, Politics, Society
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Adil Najam

No, these are not the pictures of the planes that will replace the old PIA Fokkers. These are pictures of the new luxury jets that the government of Sindh is buying for its ‘offiical’ use!

It was just a week ago that a PIA Fokker aircraft crashed killing all 45 people on board. It was wisely, but belatedly, decided that the Fokker airplans would no longer be used for passenger traffic.

You would expect that the priority now would be to replace the old Fokkers as soon as possible. You would be wrong.

As it turns out, the priority seems to be to continue the luxury jet buying binge for ‘VIP’ government officials. Super expensive cars and airplanes seems to be the ‘in thing’ on the wish list of government officials, and this time it is the Sindh government that wants to get rockstar treatment for its travel. According to The News (20 July, 2006):

Bombardier Aerospace on Wednesday announced from London that the Sindh government has signed a contract to acquire a new Bombardier Learjet 45 XR super-light business jet… The Sindh government’s new Learjet 45 XR aircraft will be based in Karachi, at the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, and used to provide logistics support and transportation of the government delegations. The high-performance aircraft is scheduled for delivery in late 2006. A Sindh government spokesman said that we are impressed with the flexibility and performance offered by the Learjet 45 XR aircraft… which will be configured to carry maximum of nine passengers, makes it perfectly suited to varied missions.

Of course, the news report did not mention that Learjet is the preferred luxury jet of the super-rich and Hollywood types, and the Learjet 45XR is a top of the line ‘celebrity’ plane. The Bombardier LearJet line is marketed as a luxury line. For example, specifically, on the 45XR, Bombardier says:

The Bombardier Learjet 45 XR aircraft offers everything that is ground breaking about the Bombardier Learjet 45 – and more. Responding to ever-evolving corporate needs, this super-light jet delivers an impressive list of enhancements, such as increased range with more passengers, shorter takeoff distances in hot conditions and at high altitudes, faster time-to-climb and faster cruise speeds… The Bombardier Learjet 45 XR cabin has 410 cubic feet (11.6 m3) of volume and 19.75 ft (6.02 m) of length, making it particularly spacious. This translates into more head, shoulder and leg room and an unprecedented level of comfort for eight passengers.

By the way, in case you were wondering, the Bombardier website tells us that you can buy used planes too… but, of course, that would not befit the government of Sindh and its VIPs. The people of Pakistan, and of Sindh, may be poor but at least they have the satisfaction of knowing that their ‘VIPs’ travel in style!

12 responses to “Pictures of the Day: Do we really need luxury jets?”

  1. Aamir says:

    whats the update on these… did the deal go through?

  2. MSK says:

    I think FS makes some very good points. Maybe this particular deal was not good but the idea of releasing the pressure from PIA and the inconvenience it causes to passengers is good. But I wonder if these are only going to be used as perks and joy rides and what oversight mechanism on their use willbe.

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