Flying government: is the cost of ministerial flights

Cabinet members have flown 52 times in the seven months since the government was formed – according to ministers’ answers to the opposition | The total cost of the trips is about NIS 10 million. The minister who travels most of the time – excluding the two prime ministers, Bennett and Lapid, is the Minister of Tourism, Yoel Ragabozov.

In the seven months since the government was formed, cabinet ministers have traveled 46 times, with the exception of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who has taken off six times. According to a report on the Walla website, the total cost of all flights is about ten and a half million shekels.

The flight data follows reports from ministers in response to an inquiry made by the head of the Likud faction and the center of the opposition, MK Yariv Levin, who sent each minister an inquiry in the same wording as the questions.

1. What trips have you taken abroad since you took the job?
2. What is the total cost of each flight desk, including the expenses of the escorts?
3. What professional meetings are available during the flight?

The data is based on the reports of the ministers themselves and not on the data of accountants general in government ministries, which also include compensation and inter-ministerial payments.

It should be noted that the calculation of the total costs, about 10 million shekels, is only an estimate, which is also based on completeness and estimates from conversations with government officials.

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Some ministers answered the query without detailing travel costs, and some referred missing reports, such as omitting security costs or ignoring trips that occurred after the date the query was received.

The answers show that the minister, with the exception of Prime Ministers Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, who flew most of the time is Minister Yoel Ragabozov, Minister of Tourism on behalf of Yesh Atid. The cost of his flights is the highest – about 238 thousand shekels, without security.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has made six official state visits since taking office in June last year: he has traveled to the United States twice, to a meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House and to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

He also visited Sharm El-Sheikh as a guest of Egyptian President El-Sisi. In October, Bennett traveled to Sochi, Russia, to meet with President Putin, and at the end of that month, Bennett traveled to attend the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Last month, he hosted the first official visit of an Israeli prime minister to the United Arab Emirates. The total aircraft cost for the premier’s six apparent flights was NIS 5,740,017, excluding escorts, hotel and security expenses, which add another 30-20% to the total costs.

It should be noted that Bennett’s office wrote in response to a question that it only provides reports on visits “which can be detailed in this framework,” which means that it is possible that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has taken off again for secret flights that are currently being conducted. Banned from public posting.

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At the top of the popular destinations for prime ministers, stands the United States, with a total of ten prime minister trips and eight prime minister trips, followed by the United Arab Emirates and France with nine official trips each.

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