On July 9, 2021, former Vice President Cristina Kirchner traveled to El Calafate, without an official agenda, to spend the Independence Day holiday. She did it in a Learjet 60, registration LV-BTA, owned by the state oil company YPF. It was one of the many trips that the former head of the Senate made in that aircraft that these days has a for sale sign up.
Since coming to power, Javier Milei's management decided to sell this aircraft and another plane from the state firm (Embraer Praetor 500) which, according to spokesperson Manuel Adorni, “were used exclusively by politicians.” TN learned that YPF expects to raise between US$20 and US$30 million for both aircraft, although the final value could be known in mid-March.
Both aircraft are currently undergoing a comprehensive technical review that is being carried out in the United States, Brazil and Argentina. There, their boards, engines and fuselage are checked, among other issues. Once the detailed report is completed, the international appraisal of the aircraft will take place.
The sale of YPF planes: an international agency will appraise them and they hope to raise US$30 million. Photo: Courtesy AIRFLN.
The sale of YPF planes: an international agency will value them
“YPF hires an agency to put a price on the aircraft and once all that documentation is ready, with the final consent of the board of directors, these assets will be put up for sale through a public tender,” government sources explained. .
Since Horacio Daniel Marín took over the YPF company, the plane has not transported any more passengers. In fact, the President of the company moves until now on Aerolíneas Argentinas planes. The Learjet LV-BTA would have a value ranging between 10 and 15 million dollars, while the Embraer could cost up to 20 million. These are perhaps the most optimistic scenarios, as other aeronautical sources believe that the planes will have a lower value.
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The Government of Javier Milei understands that during Alberto Fernández's administration these aircraft were used incorrectly. In March 2020, the previous administration issued decree No. 194/2020 that assigned the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Nation the task of “planning, coordinating, executing and supervising the activities related to the air transfers of the President of the Nation and those expressly entrusted to it by the Secretary General, for the members of the National Executive Branch inside and outside the national territory as well as the operation and maintenance of the presidential fleet of aircraft.
President Javier Milei ordered the sale of YPF planes. (Photo: EFE – EPA – Gian Ehrenzeller).
YPF seeks to collect a debt of US$200 thousand left by Alberto Fernández's management for using these planes
This resolution gave a legal framework to Cristina Kirchner's use of the presidency's aircraft. When these planes were not available, the General Secretariat required those from YPF through a collaboration agreement signed with that company. According to an investigation by the newspaper La Nación, the former Vice used these planes about 56 times. TN was able to learn that as of December 10, 2023, the outgoing Government had left unpaid invoices for more than 200 thousand dollars. The state oil company is trying to collect that debt, but now the Secretary General Karina Milei did not give the order to cancel that red.
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In parallel, the Government is analyzing a possible sale of some of the planes that make up the presidential fleet. These are the ARG-01 (Boeing 757-200) acquired by the management of Alberto Fernández; the ARG-02 (Boeing 737-5000) and three helicopters. They are all in the spotlight for their supposed high cost of maintenance and use.
TN accessed official numbers for the first time on the operating cost of the ARG-01. As an example, the trip that Alberto Fernández took to participate in the 78th United Nations Assembly in September 2023 cost U$$ 193,368 and another $15,189,658. The former president had also passed through Cuba.
When he visited Spain and China before leaving office, Alberto Fernández traveled on the Boeing 757-200. Fuel costs amounted to $20 million in Argentina, in addition to another 250 thousand dollars for cargo abroad. To this are added 68 thousand euros for charges abroad. Numbers above what a first class trip to Europe costs, like the ones Milei intends to take during his presidency.