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Departmental Travel

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 24 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent by her Department on (a) chartering aircraft and (b) non-scheduled air travel in each of the last five years. (96218)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) uses chartered aircraft and non-scheduled flights for some ministerial travel. Aircraft are also chartered in times of consular emergency. This expenditure is not held centrally in a form where it can be easily isolated from other travel expenditure, and it is not possible to provide a full answer to the question without incurring disproportionate cost.

However, details of my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's travel costs, and a breakdown of the type of travel used, are passed to the Cabinet Office for publication in the annual report on the cost of ministerial travel. The travel costs for other Ministers are also included, although this is not broken down by type of travel.

The FCO has also chartered a number of aircraft during various consular emergencies. Identified costs of these charters for recent emergencies are shown in the following table.

Amount (£)

Iraq—2003

327,397.85

Istanbul—November 2003

22,716.00

Tsunami—December 2004

213,500.00

Sharm el Sheikh—July 2005

59,000.00

Dahab bombings—April 2006

64,500.00

Total

687,113.85