12/16/2011

Ben Ali's Falcon 900 has left Geneva?

An unidentified Tunisian jet, without any callsign, left Geneva airport yesterday. Le Temps newspaper says that Ben Ali's Falcon 900 also left: one and the same?


I check on most days to see if any unidentified aircraft is seen at Geneva Airport. Yesterday, 15 December, I noticed one which took off at 16:53 without emitting any callsign, but identified by its ICAO24 number 02A64C. This number is part of a block under the jurisdiction of Tunisia. I could find no sign of it having landed here, so it is probably one which has been given a completely new identity here (not just a change of ownership and registration identifier!).

Today the newspaper Le Temps announces that the Falcon 900 private jet of Sakher el-Materi, son-in-law of the Tunisian ex-dictator, has been returned yesterday to Tunisia, where it could be sold by the Tunisian authorities for something over 8 million dollars. This amount will comfortably pay the monthly parking cost of 80,000 Swiss Francs that it has incurred since its arrival on 10 January of this year.

It is a good guess that these two aircraft are actually one and the same. I would be curious to know what is the new registration and to whom it is attributed: these might in due course change again when it is sold (always assuming that it is actually sold, and not simply transferred to someone!).

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