Friday, August 8, 2014 - 13:53
Ministers make use of royals' plane
A collection of a high-up political officials including the prime minister and finance minister make frequent use of the Dutch royal family's government-owned aircraft following a ban on politicians' use of private jets. Ministers and State Secretaries have used the flight, a Fokker 70 designated as PH-KBX, twice as often as members of the royal family, according to a report in AD. In the first year of King Willem-Alexander's reign, Dutch politicians have used the aircraft 40 times, with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem being frequent passengers, the newspaper said. Government officials flew on the aircraft 15 times in the last year of Beatrix's reign as the country's queen. Prime Minister Rutte travelled on the exclusive jet to attend the Sochi olympics earlier this year, the international economic conference in St. Petersburg, and several trips to Berlin. Minister Dijsselbloem utilized PH-KBX to attend European conferences and meetings connected to Eurozone economic policy and loans to Greece, AD wrote. In addition to his work domestically, he also serves as the president of the Eurogroup and heads up the Board of Governors at the European Stability Mechanism. Ministry of Finance spokesperson Simone Boitelle has explained that the use of the PH-KBX is more economical than commercial flights. A standard year fee is paid for use of the PH-KBX, rather then for each individual fight.