Gupta jet for sale - buyer with deep pockets wanted

11 September 2019 - 16:16
By Dan Meyer
ZS-OAK formerly used by the Gupta family to travel the globe.
Image: Supplied ZS-OAK formerly used by the Gupta family to travel the globe.

Controversy followed wherever it landed and now the multimillion-dollar private jet used by the Gupta family is up for sale - to potential buyers with deep pockets.

Canada's export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC), had the aircraft grounded on a court order in 2018 after the Gupta family allegedly defaulted on a $41m loan used to purchase the 2015 Bombardier Global 6000.

EDC reportedly funded 80% of the original purchase price.

The credit agency then won the right to sell the luxury private jet and has allowed several agencies to market it to potential buyers.

An advert appeared in Business Day newspaper on Tuesday for the aircraft, which comes in a 14-passengers seated configuration, boasts WiFi and comes loaded with a history of some controversial landings.

One of the agents marking the aircraft said it could sell for a pretty penny.

"It's not unique in any way, but we are selling to a specific type of buyer and so I think it could fetch around $30m [roughly R440m]. We are looking at several offers though," the agent said.

He confirmed that the plane formerly belonged to the Gupta family. The link is also obvious from the serial number of the aircraft, 9631, which throws out the tail number ZS-OAK.

"It is for sale and we are looking for buyers," said the agent. 

The aircraft was stored in Johannesburg after EDC obtained a court order to ground it.

In the past, it was spotted all over the world, from Moscow to national key point Air Force Base Waterkloof on the outskirts of Pretoria. It briefly went "missing" during the tussle with EDC and the Gupta family when it could not be tracked.

TimesLIVE reported in 2017 that the aircraft had not just been linked to the Gupta family wedding furore in Sun City.

A cache of leaked Gupta e-mails seen by The Times newspaper showed the aircraft had been chartered by the SA National Defence Force since the wedding in 2013 and had subsequently been allowed to land at the base.

The SABC previously reported that in 2015 then deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa used the jet, chartered at the time, to fly to Japan.

It was also allegedly used to ferry various ministers to Dubai.