SAAF now looking to lease a VIP aircraft
Outright purchase of a VIP configured inter-continental aircraft for the South African Air Force (SAAF) appears to have been shelved – at least temporarily – in favour of a leased aircraft. Armscor tender ETEL/2016/12, issued on Friday (April 22) and with a closing date of May 4, is for the lease of an inter-continental aircraft. The tender is classified “restricted”. When taken in conjunction with an as yet “no decision” made public from the SAAF on a Request for Information (RfI) for the acquisition of what Armscor termed “an inter-continental air transport system in support of democracy” last October, it appears leasing is now the preferred option for another VIP jetliner for South African government VVIPs. Three days before the lease tender was published, Armscor put out another tender pertaining to VIP air transport. Tender EANL/2016/08 seeks product support and services for the Falcon 50 and 900 aircraft operated by 21 Squadron. This gives impetus to rumours that the current VIP bizjet, Inkwazi, is to be replaced while the older Falcons will still be used for shorter, mostly in-country trips.