Shuttle Election Diplomacy? Dmitry Rybolovlev's Plane, Moscow and Trump

02/17/2017 05:49 pm ET
Dimitry Ryboovlev 2012
By Francknataf (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Dimitry Ryboovlev 2012

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev primarily lives in Monaco, but also owns a penthouse in New York City about 10 minutes from Trump Tower. He bought a Palm Beach estate from Trump, although he apparently never lived there and is selling it in pieces.

Louise Mensch (Wikpedia) and others noticed that his private A319 M-KATE visited Las Vegas, NV and Concord, NC airports concurrent with Trump election rallies, stopping for 1-2 hours en route elsewhere. This past weekend, it visited Miami(MIA) during Trump’s Mar-a-Lago weekend. As seen by searching Twitter for M-KATE and MKATE, people are actively tracking its motions and speculating of communications. Of course, we do not know who else might have been on flights, nor is there any proof of communications between Trump’s people and Rybolovlev’s.

However, a much clearer picture emerges by combining Trump’s List of campaign rallies, his Thanksgiving schedule at Mar-a-Lago, and especially the last 12 months of known M-KATE flights (via Business login), reformatted and annotated in Table 2. Each day’s sequence of flights is summarized in Table 1.

During the last 12 months, M-KATE made at least 7 visits to New York City (EWR), spending several days or more on each visit, usually overlapping with Trump presence there, given his habit of flying back most nights during the campaign. M-KATE made two 1-2-day trips to Miami when Trump was at Mar-a-Lago, the first at Thanksgiving. M-KATE spent weeks in Burbank(BUR) on 3 visits, although the connection was unclear, as was a week spent at Westhampton Beach(FOK) on Long Island.

M-KATE also made 7 visits to Moscow (VOK), the last yesterday. On January 19, it started in Moscow, flew to Berlin, and returned to Moscow. These visits often closely preceded or followed visits to New York or Miami.

This could be coincidence, but the 12-month record shows clear patterns beyond a few simultaneous airport visits, easily able to support shuttle diplomacy.

Table 1 - M-KATE travels, month by month
John Mashey
Table 1 - M-KATE travels, month by month
Table 2 https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/m-kate reformatted
John Mashey
Table 2 https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/m-kate reformatted
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