Dutch government's new plane €18 million more expensive than necessary: report

Melanie Schulz, minister of infrastructure

The Dutch government is paying much more than necessary for its new airplane - a Boeing 737 Business Jet, NRC reports based on information and documents from stakeholders. According to the newspaper, the government rejected an offer from Boeing competitor Airbus for a similar device that was nearly 18 million euros cheaper. Airbus was also able to deliver the plane earlier than Boeing, according to NRC.

The Boeing 737 will cost the government 89 million euros - the device itself costs 92.7 million euros, and the government sold its old plane for 3.7 million euros. European aircraft manufacturer offered a similar plane with newer technology for around 75 million euros, according to the newspaper. NRC calls the price difference especially remarkable because the government said that it wanted to purchase the new plane "as cost-effectively as possible".

Last month the government announced that American company Boeing will be manufacturing the new government plane. According to the government, Airbus did not make a valid offer. In response to parliamentary questions on the matter, Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure and Environment said that four tenders were declared invalid because they did not meet the terms of the Tendering Act. Presumably the Airbus tender was one of those.

According to NRC, the tendering process is "unclear" and confirms the idea that the government decided on Boeing at an early stage. The newspaper writes that the Ministry would not answer any further questions on the matter.

To NOS the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment said that it gave NRC a verbal and written response and that the newspaper is not doing that response  justice.


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