Tony Blair orders two government jets

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is set to give the go-ahead for an order of two government jets. One jet is likely to contain 70 seats, whilst the other will be smaller with around 15 seats. Previously the Prime Minister has chartered aircraft or used a royal plane. Both planes would be second hand and not bought outright but leased on a long-term contract.

Government departments, as well as the royal family, who will have first priority, will be able to use the jets, but will have to pay for the full cost of travel.

The story was first reported by BBC correspondent James Hardy, and comes out of a study into ministerial travel costs.

The nicknames 'Blair Force One' and 'Blair Force Two' have already begun to stick. American presidents have traditionally used a special jet called 'Air Force One'.