Thursday, June 06, 2013

‘Jetgate’ jet made three previous visits to Bermuda

Published Jun 6, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 6, 2013 at 9:33 pm)

By Ayo Johnson

The private jet used to transport the Premier and two of his Ministers to a Washington DC meeting had been here three times before the now infamous trip, The Royal Gazette can confirm.

And it would have cost more than $40,000 to charter.

The Gulfstream 200 — first came here this year on February 16 arriving at 1.46pm but left the same day after just under an hour at LF Wade International Airport, according to a flight tracker service.

It was to return five days later — on February 21 at 9.45am, and leaving on the same day at 2.33pm. On March 11, the jet landed shortly before 10am and left at noon.

Nine days later it returned to Bermuda and picked up the Premier, the Attorney General and the Minister of Tourism.

Government insists that that trip — from March 20 to March 22 — represented their first and only meeting with the investor group.

All flights originated in Washington DC.

The Royal Gazette understands that the G200 — one of just 250 of its kind built between 1997 and 2011 — is a family-owned jet. When not in use by its owners, it is available for charter.

A quote obtained from the charter company which handles the jet noted that it would cost $43,178.93 to fly three people from Bermuda to Washington DC on March 20 next year, returning on March 22.

The plane can accommodate up to eight people.

Government has been harshly criticised for what has been dubbed “jetgate” by the Opposition Progressive Labour Party following revelations that the three Ministers went on a paid trip on the private jet to attend a five-hour meeting in Washington DC.

The trio stayed two nights — also at the expense of the investors.


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