International

Australia's prime minister, Tony Abbott, opts for economy class on flights

January 14, 2014 04:27 PM

Australia - Tony Abbott, Australia's prime minister, has won praise for his frugality after travelling economy class on a long-haul flight to France.

Mr Abbott and his family travelled economy on a flight from Sydney to Paris, which normally takes a gruelling 24 hours in total. His office did not apparently publicise his decision, but his presence at the back of the plane emerged after a fellow passenger broadcast the news on social media.

In similar fashion, Australia's foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has insisted on flying business class rather than first class, and last year rejected her department's plans to book her in to a £1,000-a-night hotel suite in New York. She has been branded "the iron lady" after choosing to do her own ironing while travelling.

Mr Abbott, wearing a blue polo shirt, was travelling with his wife and two younger daughters during the Christmas holidays to Paris to spend a week with his eldest daughter, Louise, who is living in Switzerland. He reportedly rejected an offer of an upgrade.

The former Rhodes Scholar, leader of the ruling conservative coalition, has shown a particularly frugal approach to the trappings of office since his election last September.

Source - The Telegraph

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