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Scholz has racked up 28 days on planes in 2 years

Published : 16 Nov 2023, 02:34

  DF News Desk
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in October 2023 boards an air force plane to fly to Albania for the Western Balkans summit. File Photo: Michael Kappeler/dpa.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has spent almost a whole month in an aeroplane since the beginning of the legislative period, covering a distance greater than travelling to the moon - or twelve times around the Earth, reported dpa.

This is according to an answer from the Federal Ministry of Defence to a question from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentary group in the Bundestag on the use of the country's air force. A copy of the Bundeswehr's flight records was made available to dpa.

As of November 7, Scholz has spent 675 hours (28 days) in air force aircraft and flown 481,292 kilometres in the past two years. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock covered a similar distance with 471,454 kilometres and spent almost 650 hours in a plane.

They were followed by Economics Minister Robert Habeck (190,000 kilometres), Development Minister Svenja Schulze (157,000 kilometres) and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (147,000 kilometres).

In October, a similar question from the Left Party to the government revealed that the Federal Government had used government aircraft and German military, or Bundeswehr, helicopters for official purposes almost 1,200 times up to August 31 this year.

The Federal Chancellery was the front-runner with 397 flights, ahead of the Federal Foreign Office with 246 flights.

The frequent flyers of the Federal Government rarely use scheduled flights for diplomacy and visits to international meetings because the planning effort is much greater. Compared to other capital city airports such as London or Paris, relatively few direct flights take off from Berlin to other countries.

The Parliamentary Secretary of the AfD parliamentary group, Stephan Brandner, criticized what he sees as the "excessive use of the air force."

The German government has declared war on the combustion engine and would prefer to abolish private transport altogether, but is itself making full use of all the privileges, Brandner complained.