Royal Watch News
Queen Elizabeth's private plane on hold
Mar 30, 2009, 11:15 GMT
Britain's Queen Elizabeth has shelved plans for a £7 million private jet because of the credit crunch.
The royal family was due to receive its first purpose-built private plane next month.
It was to be used to ferry the 82-year-old monarch, her family and senior government ministers to official appointments, improving security and reducing use of costly chartered aircraft.
But the queen and the government have decided to put the 12-seat plane on hold for 12 months, or until the global financial crisis eases.
Until then, royals will continue to fly in RAF aircraft or chartered planes.
Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth said: "Work has been carried out to explore solutions for non-scheduled and dedicated flights to support the Queen and members of the Royal Family in their official duties.
"Pending the finalisation of this work the Ministry of Defence has agreed that The Royal Squadron will provide continued support to the Royal Family until April 1, 2010."
Plans for a dedicated royal aircraft were first drawn up in 1998, and dubbed Blair Force One after then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.