Near €900,000 bill for charter aircraft for Taoiseach and Tánaiste due to unreliability of government Learjet

The government has spent at least €880,000 to lease private jets to fly the Taoiseach and Tánaiste around the globe since last year.

The massive outlay on charter aircraft came as the government Learjet has been dogged by reliability issues and has not been tasked with a single mission in 2024.

Figures from the Department of Defence show that €617,700 was spent on private jets last year with further expenditure of €269,461 in the first four months of 2024.

The most expensive flight came with an enormous €158,000 bill as it took Tánaiste Micheal Martin from Dublin to Cairo and Tel Aviv last November for talks over Irish citizens in Gaza.

However, that bill may yet be outdone by another charter flight from April when the Tánaiste Micheal Martin flew to Cairo, El Arish, and Amman as the department are still “awaiting [an] invoice” for that trip.

The Department of Defence said that private planes had been leased on fifteen separate occasions since the beginning of 2023, all for trips involving either the Taoiseach or the Tánaiste.

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