President Emmerson Mnangagwa flew to Scotland on Sunday for the COP26 Summit on a private jet hired from Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Republic.
ZimLive cited privatefly.com as saying the luxuriously-fitted Airbus A319-115 (CJ) costs an average of US$415,000 to hire for a one-way trip from Harare to Glasgow, the Scottish capital.
The estimate suggests Mnangagwa is spending close to USS$1 million on travel alone.
Mnangagwa’s plane was prevented from landing for over 20 minutes on Sunday due to congestion at Glasgow’s main airport.
The Airbus flew 10 hours to Harare on 29 October from the Azerbaijan capital, Baku.
After take-off from Harare on Sunday morning, the medium-range jet stopped in Egypt for refuelling before continuing on its more than 12-hour flight to Scotland.
It flew two hours to the Latvian capital, Riga, after dropping off Mnangagwa, who is expected to remain in the UK until at least 3 November with a delegation reported to be more than 100 people.
The Airbus that took Mnangagwa to Scotland is registered to Azerbaijan Airlines, which is owned by the state.
Mnangagwa visited Azerbaijan in 2019 and met the country’s strongman, President Ilham Aliyev.
Mnangagwa could have flown with Air Zimbabwe to Scotland, but the national flag carrier – with one working long-range aircraft, a Boeing 767 – apparently fears having the plane impounded over debts.