ISLAMABAD: Federal government claimed that former Prime Minister Imran Khan spent Rs980 million on travelling in a helicopter from Bani Gala to Prime Minister House and vice versa during his three and a half years premiership.
As per statistics released by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Rs980 million were spent on former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s back-and-forth travel from the Prime Minister’s House to his private residence in Bani Gala via helicopter during his time in office.
“A one-hour journey via helicopter costs around Rs275,000. The distance from his residence to the PM House is about 15 kilometres,” the statistics showed.
The total expenditure incurred for the former premier’s helicopter has been estimated at around Rs984.355 million — Rs511.995 million on maintenance and Rs472.36 million for flights — from June 2018 to March 2022.
The helicopter was used for a total of 2,723 flying hours from August 2018 to March 2022 with an average cost of Rs275,000 per hour.
When Imran Khan decided to use a helicopter to commute daily between his Bani Gala residence and the Prime Minister Secretariat after coming to power in 2018, his spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry famously claimed that the airborne journey would cost only Rs55 per kilometre and that it was a less expensive option compared to the expenditure PM’s motorcade would incur.
By Fawad’s estimate, the 6 kilometres between Bani Gala should have cost only Rs1,650 on a four-way journey (30×55) as the helicopter was flown from the PM to Bani Gala every morning to pick up the prime minister.
However, the statistics released by the new government show that Imran Khan spent Rs800,000 per day on his helicopter rides during three years, eight months and 23 days in power.