Plans are underway to buy a new Government jet.
The Learjet which is used to fly the Taoiseach, senior ministers and the President around the world is coming to the end of its life cycle.
Speaking this morning, the Tánaiste Micheál Martin said there have been many issues with the jet in recent years.
He said he has now approved the purchase of a new plane and a procurement process is already underway.
“There have been issues with the Lear Jet,” he said.
“No point in saying otherwise. There have been serious issues with it and I’m not prepared to stand over them.
“In my view, a replacement jet is required”.
Minister Martin said the new plane will be second-hand and will benefit 'future governments' as it is unlikely to be in place before the current Dáil term ends.
He said officials are looking for a bigger plane that can travel further - noting that during the evacuation of Afghanistan, Ireland was forced to beg other countries to help bring our citizens home.
The current Lear LR45 was bought for €8m in 2004 and is used by State officials more than once a week.
It is operated by the Air Corps and costs around €15,000 per journey, on average.
In 2019, the jet embarked on a total of 49 flights at a cost of €731,000.
As the pandemic hit in 2020, the number of flights was severely reduced – with the Government spending just over €222,000 of private aircraft travel.
That increased significantly in 2021 – with ministers taking 32 private flights in the first eight months of the year at a cost of €482,000.
The jet can carry up to seven passengers and is capable of flying short and medium-haul, generally to the UK and Europe.
Reporting from Sean Defoe.