Looks like it will soon be wheels
up for French President Nicolas Sarkozy. His new plane, a specially outfitted Airbus A330-200 has had its first test flight in Bordeaux. The $235 million plane is Sarkozy's answer to Air Force One (Obama rides in a Boeing
747-200) and comes with a 12-man meeting room, 60 business class seats, a bedroom for the president, a shower and an air filter system so he can smoke cigars
. It is protected by a top-grade encrypted communications systems, a reinforced fuselage and missile decoy system. The ten-year-old plane was bought from Air Caraibes, the Caribbean airline. Two smaller A319s are currently used for the French President and will be sold. He has also ordered two Falcon 7Xs for smaller, shorter trips. One of the planes
is reportedly named the Carla One after Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni.
According to an article in the Telegraph
, the French government denies that the plane is an extravagance
. A government spokesperson said that the plane isn't ostentatious but is "equipment fitting for the world's fifth power." Sarkozy has been under fire for his luxury spending
before. His lavish trips around the world and time spent in private jets
and on lavish yachts
has raised eyebrows.