June 18, 2024

KQ responds after viral statement on President Ruto’s US visit

3 min read
KQ responds after viral statement on President Ruto's US visit

Kenya Airways (KQ) dismisses a statement making rounds on social media regarding the airline's cost of travel to the US after Ruto's visit

Kenya Airways (KQ) dismisses a statement making rounds on social media regarding the airline’s cost of travel to the US after Ruto’s visit.

The statement, which has now been flagged as fake, purported that it was cheaper to travel to the U.S. using the airline, contradicting President William Ruto’s statement over why he did not use a KQ flight during his state visit to the U.S.

A statement making the rounds on social media claimed that a KQ business class ticket to New York costs KSh 400,000 to KSh 600,000. 

It further argued that Ruto’s entourage, with all 30 delegations aboard the business class, would have cost more than KSh 34 million. 

However, the KQ flagged the statement dated May 26, 2024, as fake. 

On Sunday, May 26, the Head of State disclosed that the flight he used to the U.S. was cheaper than using a KQ flight.

“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 traveling on KQ,” the president posted on X.

His remarks attracted a lot of mixed reactions from Kenyans, with a section of netizens agreeing with the president’s statement while others did not.

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The Head of State normally uses the Harambee One presidential jet for foreign visits but while traveling to the U.S., he opted for a chartered jet, a Boeing 737-700 business jet from the Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet group.

Reports would later emerged that hiring a similar bird costs Ksh100 million for a one-way trip that carries 34 passengers and a return journey would also cost the same amount.

Details showed that the plane could cost more than Ksh2 million per hour and this would vary depending on routing, scheduling, and number of passengers, among other details. 

Following the backlash, the US government denied reports that it had paid for the aircraft used by Ruto and his delegation.

“Just to be clear, the United States of America did not pay for President Ruto’s jet to the US,” an official from the US Embassy disclosed in an earlier statement.

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