The Spanish government relied on the Belgian military to get the country’s top political leaders from A to B. On 28 January 2014 a Belgian Air Component Embraer ERJ 145 from 15 Wing at Melsbroek scrambled after a call for help from the Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire; EA).
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy together with several other ministers and entourage were about to miss an important bilateral meeting with their Italian counterparts in Rome. One of two EA Airbus A310s tasked with the VIP transport had to leave for Latin America as emergency replacement for another aircraft in that area. None of the other available Spanish military aircraft was large enough for the entire delegation.
Apparently the Spanish preferred military safety above a civilian alternative and found the solution in Brussels.
Source: Liesbeth Bardyn/Defensie Belgium with additional reporting by AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger
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