Namibia receives Learjet 75 presidential jet


The Namibian government has taken delivery of a new Learjet 75 aircraft which will be used by President Hipikefunye Pohamba.

The new aircraft, which was ordered from Canadian-based Bombardier Aerospace, is set to replace the president’s Learjet 31A VIP transport.

The arrival of the executive Learjet 75 also marks the second delivery of a Namibian presidential jet in three years following the acquisition of a US$48.5 million (N$450 million) Falcon 7X jet which was delivered in October 2011.

According to Namibian weekly newspaper Informante, the new jet landed for delivery to the government at the Eros Airport on September 7, almost four months after the contractually agreed date of delivery which was set for May this year.

Namibian Minister of Transport Errki Nghimtina was quoted revealing that the new jet will replace the 18 year-old Learjet 31A which will remain in service for a while before being finally phased out. He said despite the near-complete global phase out of the Learjet 31A, the government has managed to keep the plane flying on spares which are only availed on special order.

The Learjet 75 features more powerful engines, new avionics, more efficient winglets and a Bombardier Vision flight deck which features a fully integrated Garmin G-5000 digital avionics suite.

According to government expenditure documents, the acquisition of the executive Learjet 75 is provided for in a N$320 million budget for the modernisation of the government’s civilian aircraft fleet.

As part of the programme, the government has also ordered two AS-350 B3e helicopters from Airbus Helicopters and another larger, 8-seat helicopter.

The two AS-380 B3e aircraft were due for delivery in June and July but they have not been delivered due to technical delays.