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Fear of flying free

SCMP – 21 June 2012

We have been alerted to an interesting wrinkle in the case of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and the two holiday trips he took on private jets. Readers will recall that several months ago, Tsang admitted flying to Phuket with his wife on a private jet. He then made great play of saying that he paid for the trips. “I always pay for the trip at the market price, even though this may give an impression of being petty-minded,” he had said on RTHK.

In most places, it is illegal for operators of private jets to accept payment for trips. It is certainly the case for private jets registered in Hong Kong, where both the operator and the pilot can be held liable for breaking licensing laws as private jets and jets used for taking paying passengers have different licences. So Tsang may have unwittingly dobbed his tycoon-friend in. It was either that or say – horror of horrors – the flight was free.

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