By Eric Longabardi
The Enterprise Report has learned that the chartered Boeing 767 used to fly 10 Russian spies to Vienna Austria on Friday from New York's LaGuardia Airport is owned by U.S. Government bailout darling American International Group Inc., better known as AIG.
After delivering the 10 convicted spies to Vienna, the jet picked up Russian spies sent back to U.S. custody and flew them to a British military base in the UK. The Boeing 767 airplane is already back in the United States having arrived yesterday in Washington DC. It flew on to Miami today.
AIG has been provided with more than $180 billion dollars in U.S. Government money in the 'Troubled Asset Relief Program', known as TARP.
Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner told a Congressional oversight group on June 23rd that the U.S. Government bailout of AIG could end up costing American taxpayers money in the end. In this case, just how much the U.S. Government paid to the charter the jet is not yet known.
The U.S. government chartered the Boeing 767 N766VA from an American firm known as Vision Airlines. The Las Vegas based charter airline has offices around the U.S. Vision is usually transporting gamblers to Casinos in the U.S, but has a variety of charter passenger clients from professional sports teams to Vice Presidential candidates.
Another aviation twist in the story is one we at TER thought was very ironic. The Vision Airlines 767 used to fly the 10 Russian spies out of the country under U.S. Marshal escort was in fact a former Russian commercial airliner.
The Boeing 767 with the U.S. registration number N766VA, was previously owned by the now defunct Russian airline 'Kras Air'. The Russian airline ceased operating in November of 2008. The jet was purchased by a Los Angeles based aircraft leasing company that is wholly owned by AIG and was later leased to Vision Airlines. The airplane first went into service with Vision Air in late 2009.
Whether or not the U.S. Government knew it was chartering and flying the convicted Russian spies on a plane owned by AIG and a former Russian airline is not known at this time.