In 2018, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Dena Airlines, the operator of Rohani’s Airbus. The sanctions make international travel for the Iranian leader awkward, since ground-handling companies could potentially be hit with penalties for servicing the plane.
The celebrated sky-blue livery was originally created by the same French-American designer behind the Coca Cola bottle and the Lucky Strike cigarette logo.
One of the president’s more controversial announcements was a new paint job for replacement Air Force One planes due to enter service in 2024.
The plane is made entirely in Russia and features birch-wood furniture.
Controversy erupted in 2007 when photos were published showing gaudy golden bathroom fixtures allegedly inside one of Putin’s presidential jets.
In the late 1990s China commissioned Boeing to make a dedicated jet for China’s leadership. But after the plane was delivered in 2000, Chinese security staff reportedly found a network of sophisticated listening devices in its interior walls.
After the bugging debacle, China opted to use regular passenger jets from Air China’s fleet. The planes are pulled out of commercial service and refitted with office and living space, then converted back to a commercial airliner once government duties are completed.
The European jet is a relatively modest ride compared to that of his predecessor, Nursultan Nazarbaev, who flies in a much larger Airbus A330-200.
It is unclear how much access the new Kazakh president has to Nazarbaev’s private fleet of aircraft and helicopters reportedly valued at more than $250 million.
6. North Korea
The German Air Force manages a fleet of various aircraft for government use.
The fleet of jets has become a source of embarrassment for Germany following a string of technical problems. In 2018, Merkel arrived late to the G20 summit in Argentina after her plane was grounded when communications systems failed midflight.
In 2019, Germany’s defense minister announced she would be replacing three of the troubled government planes, telling reporters, “We have to, I think everyone can see that.”
Although the Ukrainian president has access to other aircraft, including a highly reliable Airbus, Zelenskiy appears to prefer the joint Russian/Ukrainian-developed Antonov despite a patchy safety record.
In 2011, one of the planes broke apart in midair when a test crew pushed the plane beyond its speed limit. All six people on board fell to their deaths.