Two new aircraft of Turkmenistan Airlines have been transferred to VIP flights.
According to turkmen.news sources, they are used by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and his son, Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
The family’s “private aircraft” were the Boeing 777-200 with tail number EZ-A780 and the Boeing 737-800 with tail number EZ-A020. For example, on recent foreign business trips to St. Petersburg (December 28) and China (February 3-5), Berdymukhammedov Sr. flew the EZ-A780. On the same plane, the president flew to Turkmenbashi (January 13) and Dashoguz (January 20). And on January 17, Serdar Berdimuhamedov used the EZ-A020 liner to travel to Tashkent.
“And on the last business trip to the regions, to check prices in the bazaars, Serdar flew the EZ-A020,” says the source. That says a lot about his status. No other Deputy Prime Minister would have been given a separate plane.”
When the president and vice premier are not flying anywhere, at least one of the planes, the EZ-A780, is laid up, like all other VIP planes. With the EZ-A020, everything is not so simple: it is possible that this airliner still sometimes makes other flights.
At the same time, aircraft remain on the balance sheet of the national airline. The liners stand on a separate platform, and during the trips of the Berdimuhamedovs they are controlled by pilots of the government detachment. These are different structures: in Turkmenistan there is an air fleet of Turkmenistan Airlines (TUA) for the population and Turkmenistan Government (TUG) for VIPs.
The President of Turkmenistan has at his disposal three Boeings with tail numbers EZ-A007, EZ-A777 and EZ-A700. The sevens in the numbers are no coincidence. The President considers this number lucky. In addition, the engines of all three aircraft are painted white, in contrast to the usual green-engined passenger aircraft. In the case of the new Boeings, the tradition (perhaps not yet?) has not been observed. Public photos of the sides of the EZ-A780 and EZ-A020 show that their engines are painted green.
But the difference is not only in characters. Last year, the Chronicle of Turkmenistan managed to find an article on specialized websites about equipping one of Berdimuhamedov Sr.’s aircraft. As it turned out, there is a VIP bedroom on board, a private bathroom with a shower and bidet, a custom-made desk and a massage chair.