Spanish air force spends big on VIP catering

Spanish air force spends big on VIP catering
Food for VIPs travelling on Spain's own Air Force One is a step above the soggy buns most passengers have to endure. Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP
Spain's Ministry of Defence plans to splash out over €300,000 on in-flight meals for Spain's bigwigs over the next 12 months.

The Spanish air force isn't letting the crisis put a dent in its in-flight service.

The airborne wing of Spain's military has put aside a cool €321,250 for a year's worth of food on VIP flights for King Juan Carlos, Mariano Rajoy and other Spanish VIPs, 20 Minutos reported.

Companies have until the end of April to bid for the catering on flights operated by Spain's 45 Air Force Group, the unit of the Spanish air force that shuttles the country's head honchos around. 

Food and drink on the flights won't be the usual soggy rolls, bland curries and flat beer, though.

The winning catering firm has the go-ahead to fork out up to €250 for a kilo of top-grade Iberian ham under the contract conditions. The air force is also ready to spend up to €100 a kilo on the lower quality 'cebo' ham.

Other tasty dishes on the sky menu include cochinillo a la segoviana, or Segovian style suckling pig, Bilbao style sea bass and duck liver paté with loin of Iberian ham.

Breakfast on Spain's equivalent of Air Force One will be a pretty ritzy affair as well, with freshly-pressed orange juice coming in at €8 a litre, or about four times what that product would cost in a Spanish supermarket.

Spain's 20 Minutos reported this was not the first time on-board catering for Spain's leaders had been questioned.

"We need more whisky and wine," Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy is alleged to have said during a flight in September 2012.

The report in Intervíu also said that the average booze bill on these exclusive flights was a dizzying €1,000. 

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