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AirTanker Makes Commercial Debut

BRIZE NORTON-BASED AirTanker has operated its first commercial service.


(Photo Air Tanker)

BRIZE NORTON-BASED AirTanker operated its first commercial service on May 1. The flight, from Manchester to Cancun and Punta Cana, marked the start of a new agreement with Thomas Cook Airlines – AirTanker’s first ACMI contract. The three-year deal covers the damp-lease of Airbus A330-243, G-VYGK (c/n 1498).

Speaking ahead of the inaugural flight, AirTanker Services’ Director of Aircraft Leasing, Tony Carder, said: “[The aircraft’s] entry into service with Thomas Cook represents a huge step forward for AirTanker’s civil aircraft leasing business and a milestone in our journey to become one of the world’s leading ACMI leasing providers.”

The jet is one of an eventual fleet of 13 A330s being acquired by AirTanker under the Ministry of Defence’s UK Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) programme. This includes a five-strong surge fleet, which can be leased out when not required by the Royal Air Force.

Ahead of its delivery to Thomas Cook, G-VYGK underwent a three month-long demilitarisation process which included the removal of its air-to-air refuelling capability and the installation of a 323-seat all-Economy cabin.

Under the terms of the deal with Thomas Cook, six captains and four first officers have been seconded to AirTanker and will fly alongside its own civilian pilots. Cabin service and line maintenance will be undertaken by Thomas Cook.

Filed Under Commercial Aviation News.


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