First News
Volume:7, Number:40
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Around The World 2
THIS WEEK

Flying Prime Minister Saves Money on Airfares

While celebrities like John Travolta and Tom Cruise are known for piloting their own planes, few world leaders fly themselves on state business, but Finland's prime minister Juha Sipila is one. A keen aviator and committed to austerity and saving taxpayers' money, Sipila occasionally pilots a private jet on his official travels and foots the bill himself to boot. Since taking office in May 2015, the money-conscious former businessman has flown himself on 19 official trips in Finland and abroad, said the prime minister's office. Last year Sipila, 55, flew over 5,000 kilometers from Finland to the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar for an Asia- Europe meeting, and some 1,400 kilometers to meet fellow EU leaders in Bratislava. The soft-spoken engineer earned millions as an IT entrepreneur before entering politics to become Finland's prime minister in 2015. He does not own the planes he flies, but rather rents them at his own expense.

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