The opposition in Brazil has criticized the purchase of a new presidential aircraft for president-elect Dilma Rousseff claiming it is excessively luxurious and expensive.
“AeroDilma is too expensive and we see no reason for such an outlay when the government argues it does not have resources to help pensioners or give law enforcement officers a pay increase,” said Senator Alvaro Dias from the opposition Brazilian Social Democracy Party, the PSDB.
According to the São Paulo press, the Brazilian government is planning to purchase an Airbus 320, at a cost of US$ 300 million and equipped for mid-air refueling, and which should replace the Airbus 319 acquired in 2005 for President Lula and identified as AeroLula.
“Now we’ll have the AeroDilma following on the AeroLula and the argument is that because of the purchase the Air Force will be able to modernize having to buy aircraft for midair refueling of the new A320, but it’s all a huge pretext,” underlined Dias.
Another opposition Senator, Papaleo Paes also criticized the planned operation, the AeroDilma will be five times more expensive than the current A319 AeroLula, “we don’t need it, Brazil does not need to be that ostentatious.”
President Lula defended the purchase of the AeroDilma reasoning that “There’s no reason not to buy it,” although the cost is more than five times that of AeroLula.
For Lula, Brazil suffers “humiliation” when the president goes overseas because the current airplane has 12 hours autonomy, not enough for a direct flight to some parts of the planet, like China or India.