Australia will provide a VIP aircraft for Prince Charles to make a trip to Vanuatu during this week’s Commonwealth Games visit.
The seven-day tour by the Prince of Wales and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, would be funded by the Australian government and include the cost of Charles’s travel to Vanuatu, The Australian reports.
Charles will fly to Vanuatu this Saturday with Aistralian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, ostensibly to inspect how Vanuatu has recovered from a cyclone Pam, before resuming the tour in Australia.
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet said the prince’s expenses were being met by the government, “consistent with past visits” by the royal family.
Boeing 737-BBJ airliners in the RAAF’s VIP fleet cost $15,000 an hour to operate. Vanuatu is within range of the RAAF’s smaller — and cheaper to run — Challenger VIP aircraft, but it is unlikely to have room for the entourages of Charles and Ms Bishop.
The prince’s nine-day trip to Australia in 2012 ran up a bill of $437,057, slightly less than the $474,137 taxpayers paid to host William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2014.