President Ruto addresses concerns over US travel costs


• The head of state had been criticised over the cost of the private jet he had rented for his trip to the US.

President William Ruto entering the plane he had rented for his trip to the US
Image: courtesy

President William Ruto has clarified that the expenses incurred for his trip to the US were significantly lower than if he had used a Kenya Airways plane.

The President traveled to the US aboard an A6-RJU royal jet.

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, the President acknowledged the concerns raised by Kenyans who questioned why he did not use the presidential jet or a Kenya Airways plane for his State Visit to the US.

"Fellow Kenyans, I have noted concerns about my mode of transport to the 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.

Ruto did not disclose the exact amount spent on the hired jet or the potential cost of using a Kenya Airways plane.

A State House official earlier informed the Star that the presidential jet was not an option as it has never been to the US since its purchase in the 90s. The official noted that the jet is designed to operate effectively in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

State House Press Secretary Emmanuel Talam was quoted by local media saying the plane could not be used as "it will have to stop five times to refuel."

Multiple reports estimate that hiring a Boeing business jet like the one Ruto used for his US visit costs around $18,000 per hour, roughly Sh2,358,0000.

A journey to Atlanta, US, where Ruto first stopped, is approximately 19 hours from Kenya, which would cost around Sh71,404,500 at that rate.

Earlier, the US embassy denied covering President Ruto's travel costs to the US.

"Just to be clear: The United States of America DID NOT pay for President Ruto’s jet to the U.S.," said U.S. Embassy-Nairobi spokesperson Andrew Veveiros to a local media house.

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