My private jet to USA was cheaper than travelling on KQ – Ruto

My private jet to USA was cheaper than travelling on KQ – Ruto

President William Ruto, First Lady Rachel Ruto embark from a private jet in Atlanta Georgia, USA. Photo/PCS

President William Ruto has defended the cost of using a luxury private jet for his State Visit to the United States of America. 

On May 19, 2024, Ruto jetted out of the country aboard a chartered Boeing 737-700 said to be operated by the Royal Jet of Dubai. He used the same jet to make stops in America, and later return to Kenya on May 25, 2024. 

A single trip from Nairobi to Atlanta aboard the luxury jet, spanning roughly 18 hours, will cost taxpayers approximately Ksh.98 million. Therefore, a round trip could potentially surpass the Ksh.200 million mark since Ruto also travelled from Atlanta to Washington D.C., a trip spanning two-hours.

The revelations on the costly trip sparked public uproar, with Kenyans faulting Ruto for asking other public servants to ‘live within their means’ when he broke the bank to tour the US. 

Now, after jetting back to the country, the Head of State has defended his travel expenditure, saying the private jet was cheaper than Kenya’s national courier – Kenya Airways (KQ). 

“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,” Ruto said in a tweet on Sunday. 

Earlier, the government, through its spokesperson Isaac Mwaura had dismissed concerns about the President’s costly travel. 

Mwaura argued that the benefits from the visit outweigh the private jet expenditure a million times. 

Earlier reports had indicated that the U.S had catered for Ruto’s travel, a statement that the embassy in Nairobi dismissed. 

 “Just to be clear: The United States of America did not pay for President Ruto’s jet to the US,” a spokesperson for the US embassy in Kenya told journalists.


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