21 July, 2020

AirTanker is the latest airline to join Airlines UK

AirTanker joins Airlines UK
Photo AirTanker
You might not be familiar with the name AirTanker, but you've almost certainly seen at least one of their aircraft flying high in the skies over the UK in recent weeks.  This British airline is perhaps best known for operating the RAF Voyager aircraft.

Since signing a 27-year contract with the MoD in 2008, AirTanker’s primary role has been to ensure the safe and effective operation of the RAF’s fleet of A330 MRTT Voyager aircraft, with responsibilities ranging from aircraft delivery and fleet management to crew training and a full maintenance capability.

As well as supporting the Voyager military operation, AirTanker is a civil airline and operates the South Atlantic Air Bridge, which provides a vital scheduled connection between the UK and the Falkland Islands. AirTanker has also continued to expand its commercial leasing business, operating a number of Airbus A330-200 aircraft on ad-hoc, damp and wet lease contracts on behalf of other carriers in the UK and Europe.

Photo RAF /Crown Copyright

The carrier is the latest airline to join  UK airline trade body Airlines UK, the industry association for UK-registered carriers.

Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, said: “We’re delighted to welcome such an interesting and truly diverse airline into the Airlines UK membership. Air Tanker’s experience with military operations will bring an important perspective to our offering, as well as their vital work on connectivity including with the South Atlantic Air Bridge. We’re looking forward to working with them at this critical time for the sector”.

Tony Carder, AirTanker’s Director of Civil Business said: “We are very pleased to be the latest UK airline to join the impressive and growing list of Airlines UK members.  It is important for us to be a member of such a highly regarded and well-respected industry body and we look forward to working with the organization at this very challenging time for the UK airline industry”.

However, all is not well, by joining the association,  with its political direction, could put the carrier at odds with the very government that pays for its services and keeps the airline in business. Ahead of yet another defence spending review, "There are serious questions that need to be asked regarding the future of the AirTanker contract." a source in the government said last month.
Photo RAF /Crown Copyright

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