FLYBE bosses flew an empty plane 123 miles to Norfolk to pick up William and Kate because they wanted their logo on the royal journey, it has been reported.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children were praised after they were pictured taking an economy flight to Scotland in the wake of the row over Harry and Meghan’s use of private jets.
In contrast, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex took four private jets in 11 days[/caption]
William and Kate, joined by Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and their nanny, Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, travelled on a £73 Flybe flight from Norwich to Aberdeen on Thursday morning.
They were heading to Balmoral for their annual break at the Queen’s retreat in the Scottish Highlands.
The 8.40am flight that took the royal party to Scotland is normally operated by Scottish firm Loganair on behalf of Eastern Airways, Flybe’s franchise partner.
However Flybe wanted Wills and Kate to travel on one of their planes so airline bosses ordered an Embraer 145 jet to be flown 123 miles from its Humberside HQ for the trip, the Daily Mail reported.
It meant the Loganair aircraft, which should have taken them to Scotland, took off from Norwich empty around 45 minutes later.
William and Kate were not aware of the switch and had not asked for special treatment.
Kensington Palace declined to comment.
Eastern Air, which operates the planes on behalf of Flybe, called the series of flights “immaterial”, adding: “As long as all the passengers had a nice flight.”
The revelation comes after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex faced criticism for taking four private jet journeys in 11 days, despite their environmental campaigning.
Meghan and Harry took private jets despite the Prince having warned of the “terrifying” effects of climate change.
He also told Vogue Magazine he and Meghan would only have two kids due to “environmental concerns”.
By contrast William and Kate last month took BA commercial flights to the Caribbean for their Mustique holiday.
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Celebs including singer Sir Elton John, pop star Pink and chat show host Ellen DeGeneres have all publicly defended Harry and the former Suits actress.
Sir Elton revealed he provided the duke and duchess and their baby son Archie with a £20,000 private flight to Nice to “maintain a high level of much-needed protection”.
Actress Jameela Jamil claimed, as she also backed Harry and Meghan, that it was not safe for the public to fly on planes with the royals, tweeting: “It’s not safe for us to be on the same planes as royals or presidents you absolute muppets.
“They are prime targets for kidnap and sometimes assassination.
“It’s in the interest of us civilians to not be endangered by proximity to people in such powerful positions.”
Meghan and Harry’s trip to Nice followed a reported holiday to Ibiza to mark the duchess’s 38th birthday earlier this month.
Pink said Meghan has been subjected to “the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while” and called on people to show “it’s cool to be kind.”
Elton John defended the couple getting a private jet and said he hired it for ‘their protection’[/caption]