Gov’t to sell “luxurious” helicopter bought by previous authorities to buy three helicopters for rescue operations, other means - PM

Georgian Government has plans to sell an Eurocopter AS332L1 Super Puma helicopter purchased under the United National Movement authorities - an aircraft similar to this Super Puma operated by the Hellenic Air Force. Photo: Jerry Gunner/CC BY-SA 4.0, 29 Aug 2022 - 16:13, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said on Monday the Government had plans to sell one of the two “luxurious” helicopters bought by the previous United National Movement authorities in 2011 and buy three helicopters “for rescue and other operations” using the money.

In comments on the ongoing forest fires in the country, the PM said the country’s Finance Ministry was involved in negotiations to sell one of the Super Puma helicopters to its manufacturer, noting Georgian Dream authorities had “refused to use” the aircraft. 

He added the rotary-wing aircraft, with its “luxurious interior and design”, had been used for transportation of high-ranking individuals of the former government, including the currently imprisoned former President Mikheil Saakashvili. 

The previous government had spent a lot of budgetary funds to buy the helicopter, which is impossible to use in rescue or other operations the country may need”, Garibashvili said. 

The Georgian Interior Ministry said the two Super Puma helicopters purchased by the UNM authorities had come “without the necessary equipment for rescue operations”.