The presidential fleet of aircraft consists of three airplanes and three helicopters. Of all of these, one is property of the Air Force and the rest of the national State. Since Javier Milei came to power, these aircraft were almost not used and there are doubts and various versions about their immediate future.
The authorities of the General Secretariat led by Karina Milei are not satisfied with some numbers of these planes: the Government takes a dim view of their high maintenance costs, in the midst of its intention to print an image of austerity in a delicate economic context.
Thus, as TN learned, one of the ideas that is being considered is that President Javier Milei only keeps a small Learjet from the Air Force to use within the country or in cases of emergency and put it up for sale. the rest of the fleet: according to informal appraisals or consultations that have already been carried out in the Government, around 40 million dollars could be raised for two airplanes and three helicopters, in addition to cutting the maintenance expense of these units.
The Government is analyzing selling the presidential plane that Alberto Fernández bought for US$25 million. (Photo: TN).
If the Casa Rosada is definitely inclined towards the idea of supporting only one plane, the one chosen would be the Learjet 60 (ARG-03), a unit that belongs to the Air Force, but whose operation and maintenance is in charge of the General Secretariat. It is an airplane that, in addition, does not incur too many maintenance costs.
The units that would be put up for sale are a Boeing 737-500 (ARG-02), formerly known as Tango 04, which has a market value of around $4 million. The maintenance cost (without use) is US$1,500,000, a figure that arises from a contract with Aerolíneas Argentinas for the care of the aircraft, technical books and advice. In addition, the Presidency has to pay $500,000 for inspections that are scheduled for calendar time.
Read also: The Government analyzes selling the presidential plane that Alberto Fernández bought for US$25 million
Another one that could have a sale sign is the Boeing 757-256 (ARG-01), acquired during the administration of Alberto Fernández for 25 million dollars. The Government says that, if it is sold, at least the investment must be recovered. Although it has not been used since the previous administration, in the coming months it will require expenses:
Major inspection: US$2,000,000Boeing maintenance: US$100,000Minor inspections: US$700,000Other expenses (such as flying at least once a week to stay operational): US$7,000 for 30 minutes.
Javier Milei could be left with only one presidential plane. Photo: REUTERS/Yara Nardi.By: REUTERS
TN accessed official numbers 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 $15,189,658. The former president had also passed through Cuba.
On his only trips abroad – he passed through Davos in January and Israel and the Vatican a few hours ago – the libertarian used airliners. In this context, various proposals emerged regarding the future of the presidential fleet, which are discussed in the General Secretariat.
Read also: Milei's privatization plan advances: only three public companies received funds from the State in January
“If it's for Milei, he sells everything,” a source told TN. However, he clarifies, the reality is that the sales process is in a phase of study and internal discussion. An area with strong interference in the process is the General Directorate of Logistics (DGL), which was left in the hands of Commodore Fabián Barbieri, who was managed by Mauricio Macri.
Read also: After a year and eight months, the Venezuelan-Iranian plane that was detained in Ezeiza left the country
On the other hand, the possibility of putting presidential helicopters up for sale is also being studied. They are three. An S70 Sikorsky Black Hawk (8 seats), which has a market value of US$ 4 million. If it is not used it also has high maintenance costs. For example, technical literature costs about $320,000: the manufacturer makes constant improvements and those who operate the helicopter must purchase this material to be able to use it. Additionally, there is an S76 (5 seats), which has a market value of US$3 million, and an S76 (5 seats), the same model as the previous one and the same market value. Major inspections of these helicopters cost about US$400,000 each.