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The G7 summit and the parade of government aircraft
In addition to its political significance, the 47th World Leaders' Summit provided an opportunity to witness an entire parade of presidential planes around the world. The 47th G7 summit took place on 11-13 June 2021 in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The summit was attended by the leaders of the seven G7 member states, as well as representatives of the European Union. Are you curious to read about the planes used by G7 Summit participants to get to Cornwall, UK?
Australia, South Korea, South Africa
The three countries are not part of the G7, but have been invited. Representatives of the three states appeared at the G7 after long flights operated by various military or civilian aircraft.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison traveled to the UK aboard an aircraft Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport from the Royal Australian Air Force, which can be used both to refuel other aircraft and to transport personnel. The aircraft, registered A39-007, arrived from Perth (PER) with short stops in Singapore (SIN) and Dubai (DXB), but failed to land at Cornwall Newquay Airport (NQY) due to heavy fog. The flight was redirected to RAF Brize Norton (BZZ) air base.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in used Code One, the aircraft used specifically for international travel. It's about a plane Boeing 747-400 (10001) modified, operated by Korean Air. The plane will be replaced with a new 747-8i in November this year. It was probably one of the last visits of a Boeing 747-400 aircraft to Europe. It took off from Seoul Air Base on June 11 and landed at Cornwall Newquay Airport (NQY) a day later.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa flew a plane Boeing called Inkwazi, registered ZS-RSA. The plane is used for international travel, but the president also uses other aircraft for longer intercontinental travel. Inkwazi had "visited" Europe in May, when President Ramphosa arrived in Paris for the Summit on the Financing of African Economies. Ramposa was the last leader to arrive in Cornwall as Inkwazi landed at NQY on the afternoon of June 11th.
Presidential planes usually have several features in common. They are safe, luxurious and outrageous. Canadian Airbus CC-150 Polaris (001), used by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reach Britain, has been the subject of many scandals in recent years. It was considered too expensive, underwent numerous repairs and conversions, spent many years in a hangar because politicians refused to use it, and finally - in December 2019 - hit a wall with its tip, while it was towed, needing further repairs. The new white-red-blue livery, which was the subject of another scandal, could be seen at NQY on the eve of the summit, on June 10, 2021.
The French President, Emmanuel Macron, frequently uses an Airbus A330-200 of the Special Transport Squadron of the French Air Force. However, Cornwall is not that far from Paris, so using a long-range wide-body aircraft was probably considered too impractical. For this visit, President Macron used one of the new three-engine aircraft, Dassault Falcon 7X.
As the Air Force One aircraft is usually associated with the transport of the American president, Konrad Adenauer is the name of the aircraft used by German state personalities. Airbus A350 aircraft are currently used by the German government. However Angela Merkel traveled to Cornwall with a Airbus A320 government (15 + 01) - a smaller plane, but no less impressive. The aircraft belonged to the airline Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), before being bought by the Luftwaffe in 2018 and transformed into a mobile command post. It landed at NQY on June 11, as soon as the fog cleared from the UK sky.
The 31st Wing of the Italian Air Force is responsible for the transportation of government officials. Its fleet is completed by a trio of Airbus ACJ319 - business aircraft, based on the Airbus A319 aircraft. One of the three Airbus ACJ319 (MM62174) carried the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi. The aircraft successfully landed at NQY on the morning of June 11.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's trip to the UK contained several adventures. The country's air force is using two brand new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to transport officers, called the Japanese Air Force One (JF 001) and the Japanese Air Force Two (JF 002). The second of them is often used as a backup, only if the first is not available. That is exactly what happened on June 11, and Prime Minister Suga left for Cornwall 90 minutes late.
Instead of taking a car, a train or another nature-friendly mode of transport, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson left for Cornwall on a "Brexit Jet" - a Airbus A321 with a unique livery, Union Jack - the flag of Great Britain. The aircraft flew 399 km (248 mi) between London Stansted (STN) and NQY in 49 minutes, introducing almost 2 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. The aircraft itself does not belong to the British government. It is operated by Titan Airways, which began leasing it to Her Majesty's officials in March 2021.
Everyone knows Air Force One, a plane Boeing VC-25, heavily modified, based on a Boeing 747-200, which has carried American presidents since the Reagan administration. The call sign is used by any other aircraft carrying the American president. Joe Biden landed on the night of June 10th.
As the US presidential aircraft was probably a little too large for the British countryside, trips around Cornwall were made by Marine One helicopter - a Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King of the US Navy. The helicopter arrived in the UK aboard a Boeing C-17 Globemaster.