How much it would cost to hire Kenya Airways business class seat plane to the US and back

Over the past one week, the most discussed topic in Kenya has been the cost incurred by President William Ruto during his week-long visit to the United States.

The visit was on the invitation of the US President Joe Biden for a state visit.

The elephant on this particular travel was how Ruto and his delegations chose to travel to the US by a private Jet with some Kenyans suggesting that he should have chosen the national carrier for the journey.

While the cost, remains unclear, despite the many questions raised, the head of state on Sunday said the amount spent on the plane was cheaper than what would have been spent on the National carrier, Kenya Airways.

“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,” the President said.

Ruto, however, did not state the amount he used for the hired jet and the amount he would have spent if he had to use a Kenya Airways plane.

The Royal jet used by the President had a capacity of 34 seats and Multiple reports estimate that the cost of hiring a Boeing business jet like the one Ruto used in his visit to the US oscillates around $18,000 per hour, roughly Sh2,358,0000.

A journey to Atlanta, US, where Ruto first made a stop, is approximately 19 hours from Kenya, meaning it would cost approximately Sh71,404,500 at that rate to travel one way.

Additional costs such as parking fees, days spent with it and landing and take-off taxes mean the total cost will rise.

A spot check by the Star on the Kenya Airways website indicated that a Business class ticket would cost Sh847,715 for a return ticket to the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York.

This amount multiplied by the 30 business class seats on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, would amount to Sh25,431,450.

The Dreamliner also has 204 economy seats, according to Kenya Airways, which costs Sh264,230  for a return ticket. This means the total would be Sh53,902,920.

Hiring an entire KQ plane means paying for all available seats and this will bring the total cost of going to the US and back to Sh79,334,370.

The prices for the tickets would drop depending with the time of booking.

There are also additional costs to it including the parking fees and the number of days one would spend with the plane which would also be factored into the final price of hiring as well as.

There is also the take-off and landing taxes added to the amount.

Had the President used the national carrier, additional costs would also have been incurred for his movements in the US since his first stop was in Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and later on the Andrews Air Force Base in Washington D.C. 

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