Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon racks up over 30,000 miles with domestic flights

By Nykole King

Nicola Sturgeon’s flights between London and Edinburgh over a five-year period total almost 18,000 miles.

Sturgeon’s office disclosed a report of her flights taken while carrying out government business while still in the role as First Minister of Scotland.

Domestic trips

Sturgeon totalled 31,669 air miles for domestic trips from 2016 to 2022. The highest occurrence of trips was the flight between Edinburgh and London.

The data shows that Sturgeon flew from Edinburgh to London airports 26 times over the five-year period. Additionally, she took 28 flights from London to Edinburgh. Air travel between these two cities totals 8,609 miles and 9,272 miles, respectively.



The Scottish Government disclosed the air miles following a Freedom of Information request. The request was made on 20 December 2022. The filed FOI requested a breakdown of the flights and miles flown from 2016 to 2022 by the recently resigned Scottish First Minister.

The Scottish Government responded to the FOI request by publishing the air miles flight data on the government website on 23 January 2023.

The Galway Pulse reached out to Sturgeon’s office for comment, asking about the travel policies used by the First Minister’s office for booking air travel. The office responded that “unfortunately due to the volume of media queries received by the Scottish Government, we are unable to respond to queries from student journalists”.

International trips


Whereas Sturgeon’s international trips totalled 81,229 miles. But in spite of the amount of miles, there was a considerable drop off in flights trips taken in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic restricting travel.

But the most miles racked up from a single trip was a flight in April 2017. Sturgeon reportedly took a flight from Newark New York to Glasgow. This flight is roughly 3,200 miles, but it was reported at a distance of 9,636 miles.

The Scottish Government’s office of Directorate and Corporate Transformation and Workplace confirmed the distance in a statement to The Galway Pulse.

The distance from Newark to Glasgow is roughly one-third of the actual reported distance. The Scottish FOI department, however, provided no explanation for the additional 6,413 miles reported in the flight itinerary.

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