President Anastasiades receives presidential aircraft donated by Greece [VIDEO]

President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades thanked warmly the Greek government for donating a presidential aircraft, during a handover ceremony held at Elefsina Air Base, outside Athens.

President Anastasiades said that the donation of the aircraft is a generous contribution to meet the needs of the Republic of Cyprus, as it will serve for the transportation of the President of Cyprus and members of the Council of Ministers, as well as for emergency humanitarian needs.

“This is a generous contribution to the needs of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus is an isolated island. We do not have the connectivity that Greece has. This has been a problem for the President and the Government” Anastasiades said.

“I feel the need to express my warmest thanks to the Greek Government for its contribution, in the spirit of solidarity and mutual support that characterizes our relations. This important donation will contribute greatly to the better functioning of the state,” he added.

On his part, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his pleasure at being able to make “this gesture of solidarity towards Cyprus, which has always stood by our country when we were recently tested by major natural disasters”.

“Let me thank you once again for your very generous donation concerning the area of Mati –a natural disaster that has been very painful for us and shocked Hellenism. I will see you soon at the foundation of the new houses for the needs of our fellow citizens who lost their homes on that terrible night,” Mitsotakis said, referring to the area in Attica devastated by wildfires in July 2018.

As he explained, the President of Cyprus “will now be able to travel on a plane that carries the name of the Republic of Cyprus, the Cypriot and European flags”. This “is also a sign of the prestige of the Republic of Cyprus”, he added.

“We are pleased to be able, in the context of our own modernization of the government aircraft fleet, to take this action. Safe travels! In the coming months, before the end of his term, the President has a heavy schedule, so I am confident that this will pay off,” Mitsotakis said.

The aircraft is of EMBRAER EMB-135BJ LEGACY type, with a capacity to carry up to 14 passengers, a crew of five (captain – co-pilot – safety pilot – air steward – technician), and 2 turbofan ROLLS ROYCE engines, type BR700-710A1-10, thrust 2×14700 lb, wingspan: 21.17 m, length: 26.33 m, ceiling: 39000 ft and maximum speed: 0.8 Mach.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus was accompanied by Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides, Government Spokesman Marios Pelekanos, Deputy Minister to the President Petros Demetriou, Chief of the National Guard Demokritos Zervakis, Director of the President’s Office Pantelis Pantelidis and officials.

The airplane carrying the President and his delegation landed in Larnaca airport at 14.30 local time (11.30 GMT) and was welcomed with a water salute.

Source: Cyprus News Agency