The Slovenia Times

Govt Jet for Lease


Kamnar said that the government has been looking for a suitable solution for quite some time, as it even launched a public call for bids to auction the jet off in 2010.

The call fell through in February this year, as the bidders fell short of the government's terms.

"In the end we decided that it would be best if we found a leaseholder which would have the plane in operative management and at the same time offer its services for the state's needs."

Claiming that the price of flights would be lower than the one on the market, she said that a contract for a five-year lease, bringing in around EUR 200,000 per year, could be signed as soon as in the autumn.

Kamnar added that a leaseholder would always need to have the Falcon or another comparable plane ready for Slovenian officials.

Defence Ministry State Secretary Boris Balant meanwhile told the press that a work group at his ministry had weighed three possible options for the plane's future.

Either the jet would be used by the Defence Ministry or the new public Civil Aviation Agency, but it turned out that neither had the staff to keep it operational.

So the ministry chose the third option, as surveys showed that there was sufficient interest among aviation companies to lease the plane with.

The current value of the plane, which provoked a public outcry when it was bought for US$ 33m in 2001, stands at around EUR 13m, while yearly costs of maintenance reach up to EUR 240,000.

In a climb-down the government let the plane to an American company in 2004. In 2009 the Falcon was taken to Switzerland for maintenance and was returned to Slovenia later that year.


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