Top 5 portfolio agencies on govt overseas air travel

Roje Adaimy
(Australian Associated Press)

Almost $158 million of taxpayer money was spent on international flights across Australian government departments and agencies last financial year.

Defence was the biggest spender in 2016-17, accounting for nearly a third of the total bill with $58.6 million going on overseas air travel.

It was followed by Foreign Affairs and Trade and its agencies ($30.3 million) and Immigration and Border Protection ($18 million).

Immigration spent nearly $1.8 million alone on flights with Air Niugini – the national airline of Papua New Guinea, home to Manus Island detention centre.

Qantas bagged the lion’s share of the travel spend, getting paid about $57.6 million, ahead of ahead of Virgin Australia ($16.5 million).

Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines both received almost $12 million each.

The figures were released by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann in response to a question from Labor senator Jenny Macallister earlier this month.


Defence – $58,583,831

Foreign Affairs and Trade – $30,373,758

Immigration and Border Protection – $17,993,889

Industry, Innovation and Science – $11,699,107

Attorney-General’s Department – $10,529,212


Qantas Airways – $57,616,265

Virgin Australia – $16,510,433

Etihad Airways – $11,981,092

Singapore Airlines – $11,935,776

Emirates Airlines – $9,915,816

British Airways – $4,531,307

Qatar Airways – $4,114,310

Air Niugini – $2,993,159

Cathay Pacific Airways – $2,632,748

Air New Zealand – $2,184,522


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