Jakarta. Indonesia took delivery of its $91 million presidential plane on Thursday, a Boeing jet the State Palace will use for official business instead of chartering flights from flag carrier Garuda Indonesia.
“This is the first time in Indonesia’s 69 years of independence that we have our own presidential plane,” State Secretary Sudi Silalahi said at the delivery event at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in East Jakarta, as quoted by his official website, Setkab.go.id.
Sudi said the Boeing Business Jet 2, which has a capacity for 67 passengers, had been customized to meet the requirements of the government.
“After meticulous calculations along with deep consideration and input from many parties — especially the House of Representatives — the ownership and usage of a presidential plane [was determined to have] more benefits,” he said.
The government has been keen to emphasize the cost-saving benefits of the plane, countering those who believed the plane was an unnecessary expenditure.
“From our calculations, we can save the state budget around Rp 114.2 billion [$10.05 million] every year from the use of the plane for the years ahead,” he said.
Sudi said the livery was chosen by the government and dismissed critics of the ministry’s color scheme. .
“Why does it have to be blue? Ask why does the sky have to be blue,” he said. “Blue is part of camouflage in flight security and it’s the color of the Air Force.” The Jakarta Globe