Gulfstream G280, a command and control aircraft of the Philippine Air Force, also dubbed the presidential jet, flew to Singapore a day before President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and other officials watched the Formula One Grand Prix.
Flightaware, a flight tracker website, shows that the aircraft arrived at Singapore Changi Airport on Saturday, October 1, around 4:16 p.m. It departed in Manila at 1:03 p.m. that day.
On Monday, October 3, the aircraft departed from Singapore and arrived in Manila at 3:26 a.m.
Gulfstream G280 was bought in 2019 as an “airborne command post” for senior leaders and commanders during emergencies, said Department of National Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong.
The purchase of a P2 billion jet earned flak as critics found it an extravagant purchase.
Amid criticisms, former defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said it would not be a luxury aircraft but a part of efforts to modernize the Philippine military.
He also claimed the aircraft was not intended to be a presidential plane. “Will the President be using it? As the Commander-in-Chief all assets of the AFP are at his disposal when he needs them,” he added.
The G280 has a maximum range of 3,600 nautical miles/6,667 kilometers at its long-range cruise speed of Mach 0.80 and a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.84. It can accommodate up to 10 passengers.
Marcos’ Singapore trip
Over the weekend, several photos and videos circulated online showing the president, his son Rep. Sandro Marcos (Ilocos Norte, First District) and the president’s cousin House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez attending the racing competition.
Singapore’s minister of manpower, Tan See Leng, also posted a photo on Facebook with Marcos and said he met him at the racing event.
Rep. Aniela Tolentino (Cavite, Eighth District) was also present at the event based on the Instagram stories she shared.
Their weekend trip came days after Typhoon “Karding” (International name: Noru) ravaged Central Luzon.
On Monday, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles claimed that Marcos’ visit to Singapore was “productive.”
“Pinagpatibay niya ang mga pangunahing usapan sa huling state visit sa bayan na ito, at pinatuloy ang paghihikayat sa pag invest sa bayang Pilipinas,” Cruz-Angeles said.
The press secretary did not discuss the trip’s agenda.
This is Marcos’ second visit to Singapore in less than a month. He was in the country early in September for a two-day state visit.