Buying a new government jet is being considered as the current plane is ‘nearing the end of its life’

A NEW GOVERNMENT jet may need to be purchased as the current aircraft is “nearing the end of its natural life”.

The Learjet has been out of service for repairs for the past few months and has been unavailable for 35% of the year to date.

The Taoiseach had to use the CASA maritime patrol aircraft and commercial flights for some trips.

However, the Taoiseach recently found himself stranded in Brussels after an Air Corps plane due to take him home was taken out of service at the last minute.

While the Taoiseach used the Learjet to return to Ireland from Brussels yesterday, a government spokesman confirmed to political correspondents today that there were growing problems with the plane.

They said “all options are on the table”, such as buying a new plane or leasing a new jet.

“There have been issues,” they said, adding that as part of a broader defense spending review, a number of options are being considered.

The situation must be corrected, they concluded.

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The Air Corps Learjet was purchased in 2004 and has been in service for seventeen years.

The government once owned two jets, but the Gulfstream IV aircraft was sold in 2017 for €418,000.

There was controversy at the time over the sale price given that the jet was valued somewhere in the region of €750,000. It was bought in 1992 for 45 million euros.

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