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Ministerial Travel.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 17 November 2004

Wednesday, 17 November 2004

Questions (564)

Billy Timmins

Question:

605 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to a newspaper article (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29038/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Defence)

The newspaper article referred to by the Deputy suggests that the Government is considering the sale of the Lear jet which was acquired for the ministerial air transport service. There is no truth whatsoever in this suggestion. The Lear jet proved to be an essential asset in meeting the needs of Ministers who attended numerous meetings during our EU Presidency and will continue to be required in the future. The aircraft provides an excellent service for short and medium haul flights and has proven extremely reliable since it entered service in January this year.

During the course of the EU Presidency the aircraft performed 78 missions, mainly to various European locations, and had 100% dispatch reliability over the period. The Lear jet is an efficient and effective replacement for the Beechcraft KingAir and a welcome addition to the MATS service.

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