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turism&travel : Vision Airlines: We fly while you spy

Monday 12 July 2010

A Vision Airlines Boeing 767 delivered Anna Chapman and nine other alleged Russian spies to the tarmac at Vienna Airport in Austria Thursday, where a Russian plane waited with its own four-spy cargo to finish a trade.

ABC News reported Friday that the swapped spies the U.S. got in return for the 10 recently arrested on US soil are on a Vision Air flight en route to Dulles Airport, and expected to arrive Friday evening. Dulles Airport is 18.3 miles from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Vision Airlines - whose motto might be "We fly while you spy," it seems - is a U.S. government contractor whose responsibilities included shuttling personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan before its current spy trade mission. With CIA, State Department and Blackwater personnel among its regular passengers, Vision Airlines is no stranger to the blurred lines of espionage and diplomacy.

When not involved in alleged surveillance, spy swaps and terror suspect transport, Vision Airlines purportedly operates tourist services, such as Grand Canyon flyovers. With both Vision Airlines' main website and its Visionholidays website down Friday, details of its tourism operation are available online Friday only from secondhand sources.

But, whatever jaunts Vision Airlines may have offered to Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam sightseers pale in contrast with the imaginative flights the spy-favored airline is now positioned to offer a public captivated by a high-intensity spy swap the likes of which hasn't made the news in decades. Vision Airlines has now achieved sufficient notoriety as a spy carrier that, taking cues from Washington DC's International Spy Museum and Milwaukee's Safe House restaurant, could presumably translate its reputation into profitable spy tourism. The International Spy Museum and the Safe House might be among its chief destinations.

One thing that's certain, as a spy carrier and terror suspect transporter, Vision Airlines won't be operating under any cloak of secrecy in the future. Then again, secrecy apparently isn't highly sought after in this era's spy missions. Vision Airlines' cover as a secret CIA spy transport was revealed back in 2008 by the Slovak Spectator, which called Vision Airlines "a sister company of a CIA shell firm."

The Hungarian newspaper Népszabadság reported, at about the same time, that a particular Vision Airlines plane with registration number N-34315 observed in Vienna after leaving Bratislava was transporting terror suspects from the Middle East and Southeast Asia to the U.S.

Autor: eTurboNews