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Departmental Air Travel

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 20th July 2011.

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Photo of John Mann John Mann Labour, Bassetlaw

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on what occasions he has flown on official business (a) by budget airline and (b) in economy class in the last 12 months.

Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

In the past 12 months I have flown on official business by budget airline on seven occasions; four of which were in economy class.

I regularly travel to and from Belfast from the UK mainland. Travel plans can often change at the last minute, for example, to take account of requirements at Westminster. For this reason I normally travel premium economy which allows flights to be changed at no or minimal cost and is therefore most cost effective.

This contrasts with the travel arrangements under the previous administration when the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland routinely used a private jet for official journeys between London and Belfast. Under this Government, the Department no longer uses private jet hire for regular travel by the Secretary of State.

Does this answer the above question?

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