first commercially available aircraft delivered to the AirTanker fleet and the
eleventh delivered to date under the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA)
programme, it will now go into a three-month in-house conversion.
part of this process, all military modifications will be removed to restore the
airframe to its civil A330-200 type. Once complete, the aircraft will be
registered by AirTanker on the Civil Aircraft Register as G-VYGK ahead of its
scheduled operation in support of Thomas Cook Airline’s UK long haul programme
from May this year.
Carder, AirTanker Services’ Director of Aircraft Leasing, said that the arrival
represented “a very exciting step” for the organisation.
delivery of the aircraft at Brize Norton is a major milestone for our civil
leasing business and brings us a step closer to operational reality, reflecting
the growing capability that AirTanker is developing”, he said.
in-house engineering teams will now take the aircraft through a full military
to civil conversion. In addition to removing all military equipment, this will
also include the reconfiguration of the cabin. This includes the installation
of 320 new seats and seat back IFE system.”
in 2008, the deal between AirTanker and the Ministry of Defence tasks
AirTanker, whose shareholders include Airbus Group, Rolls Royce, Thales, Cobham
and Babcock, with the delivery, military conversion and subsequent operation
and support for, 14 Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
includes a core fleet of nine aircraft, flown in support of and by the RAF and surge
capability, which is available to AirTanker to lease when not required by the
RAF. Completing its core RAF fleet on time and to budget last year  with
the delivery of the ninth Voyager aircraft, five aircraft delivered between now
and Q4 2016, sit within this surge capability.
deal with Thomas Cook Airlines, is agreed directly between AirTanker and Thomas
Cook for AirTanker-owned aircraft and sits outside that already in place with
the MOD. No RAF crew will be employed in its delivery.