Air travel taken for official business: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

Information on how the Scottish Government's Cabinet, Ministers and officials travel by air, in particular information on:

  • airlines often used by the government and in what situation they are used
  • what the process is for selecting the airlines chosen for each flight
  • specific information relating to the First Minister's flight to Iceland on 14 October 2021 including the airline used, class flown (if applicable) and a cost breakdown.


The answers to your questions are detailed below.
All air travel is taken for official business. Flights are booked with the airline that is considered by Scottish Government as the most cost effective and appropriate for the itinerary.

Scottish Ministers and civil servants travel for a range of reasons including ensuring that the people of Scotland are effectively represented and ensuring that Scotland’s voice is heard on important issues. I many instances, travel is necessary to allow civil servants to attend Ministerial meetings, meetings with businesses and visits to the communities we serve.

Before arranging to travel on official business, civil servants are first required to consider if the journey is really necessary. If they conclude that business cannot be conducted effectively by other means, such as video or teleconferencing, Ministers and civil servants are then required to travel in the most cost effective and time efficient method available.

Frequently used airlines:
Over the past two years, since 1 October 2019, airlines commonly used by Scottish Government include Loganair, British Airways, Flybe, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, easyJet, Brussels Airlines, AerLingus, Norwegian Air, Ryanair, Air France and Emirates.

The First Minister's flight to Iceland on 14 October 2021:
The carrier used for the First Minister's flight to Iceland on 14 October 2021 was easyJet. The class flown was Economy. The overall cost was £79.31, broken down into £76.98 for the flight plus £2.33 booking fee.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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