Air miles ministers: meet the government’s most frequent flyers

Government has pledged to offset carbon emissions produced by all the flights.

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File picture of plane wing / Credit: iStock

Finnish ministers have clocked up thousands of of flights since the current government came to power in 2015. But who flies the most?

According to a new story in Suomen Kuvalehti magazine today Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) has the most flights in the last three years with 109 domestic and international trips.

Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue) has the next highest total with 108 flights; while Environment Minister Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre) has 102 flights.

In total ministers have taken 1064 flights, an average of one per day.

Cost of flights around the world

Unsurprisingly, the PM and Foreign Minister spent the most money on flights, since many of them were international – long haul to Asia or North America – as well as around Europe.

In total, cabinet ministers spent €1.7 million on airline tickets: the Prime Minister alone spent almost €240,000 on flights while the Foreign Minister was higher at €250,000 according to the magazine’s research.

Sipilä has a private pilot’s license, and his own small plane which he also flies.

Off-setting carbon emissions

So how does all this flying square with the government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions?

The Prime Minister has previously said he would off-set his emissions by planting trees, while Minister Tiilikainen says the government has informed the Environment Ministry that it will compensate for the carbon emissions produced by the flights.

Tiilikainen says he has actively worked to reduce his carbon footprint by using video links for example to attend conferences or give speeches, instead of flying there in person.