Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ruto: Hiring over Sh. 200 million jet to US was cheaper than using Kenya Airways

President William Ruto has come out to defend the exorbitant cost of his travel to the United States.

In a statement that he posted on his X (formerly Twitter) account, the president said that hiring the multi-million private jet to US was cheaper than using Kenya Airways.

Co-Op post

“Fellow Kenyans, I have noted concerns on my mode of transport to USA. As a responsible steward of public resources and in keeping with my determination for us to live within our means and that I should lead from the front in so doing, the cost was less than travelling on KQ,” he said.

In his statement, the president alleged that by hiring the expensive jet to US, he was living within his means!


The president’s statement drew anger from Kenya s who wondered what calculations he was using.

“A KQ return Business class ticket to Atalanta for 2 weeks from now on KQ costs like 650,000. Say the President took 50 people on this trip. That would be Sh. 32.5 million,” Mwango Capital commented.

“KQ return ticket to JFK is $1300, for you, you are the president we will give you choice of first class and say you paid $4500, together with other 4 high ranking officials. 1300×29 joyriders who ought to have used economy class or book tickets at their expense would have spent $37,700,” Elvis Localman commented.

“You and four other ranking officials $4500×5= $22,500. Total $60,200. You would have spent $60,200 or 7,846,769.00 Kenyan Shilling on travel. If you added on hotel accommodations etc this trip would have cost not more than Sh. 10,000,000 or $80,000.”

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The president  hired a Boeing 737-700 business jet that is operated by the Royal Jet of Dubai.

This is an airline that is based at Abu Dhabi in the United Arabs Emirates (UAE). To take Ruto to the US and back, Kenyan taxpayers will pay a bill of about Sh. 200 million.

A breakdown of the charges that the Royal Jet of Dubai offers for the Boeing 737-700 business jet shows that the plane is chartered at $18,000 (equivalent to Sh. 2.4 million per hour).

The services of this plane are targeted at the elite markets of Europe and the USA. According to a quotation that was provided by the company that owns the jet to a local media house, a one-way flight from Nairobi to Atlanta, Georgia, where Ruto landed costs $748,600 (Sh. 98 million).

A return leg costs the same amount, bringing the total cost for a chartered Nairobi-Atlanta return flight to around Sh. 196 million. This quotation is for the 18-hour flight to and from Atlanta.

This cost was expected to exceed Sh. 200 million as the President also used the same jet for his trip from Atlanta to Washington.

The jet plane was also expected to bill the Kenyan taxpayer for the flight from Abu Dhabi to Nairobi it took to come fly the president to US, and its return leg from Nairobi to Abu Dhabi.

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