Boris Johnson orders £900,000 paint job for RAF plane

Jun 18, 2020

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Boris Johnson wants the aircraft that he and senior members of the royal family use to look a little more representative of the country’s colours. This week, No 10 said that the government’s official Airbus A330 was in the process of getting a red, white and blue “rebranding” to “better represent” the country when the aircraft travels internationally.

Related: How does the royal family fly?

The RAF Voyager is used by the prime minister, other ministers and senior members of the royal family when they travel on official engagements. Since first being used by then-prime minister David Cameron in 2016, the aircraft has been painted in a grey colour, with Royal Air Force painted on the fuselage. The tailfin has no distinct design.

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AKROTIRI, CYPRUS - DECEMBER 03: A RAF Voyager returns to RAF Akrotiri from the first sortie flown following the decision by the UK government to approve air strikes in Syria on December 3, 2015 in Akrotiri, Cyprus. The RAF has sent two further Tornado aircraft and six Typoons to bolster aircraft now flying sorties to both Iraq and Syria. The UK government voted yesterday to authorise air strikes against so-called Islamic State targets in Syria. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Historically, the RAF Voyager has been painted in the grey colour scheme in order to help it camouflage when operating military missions.

The A330 is currently in Cambridgeshire, where it’ll be undergoing the repainting. Even when it gets its new paint job, the RAF Voyager, which is typically used for refuelling other military jets while in the air, will still be able to perform those duties.

“This will mean that the plane can better represent the U.K. around the world with national branding, which will be in line with many other leaders’ planes”, a Downing Street spokesperson told The Guardian.

According to No 10, the repainting will cost about £900,000. According to the BBC, Downing Street said that the paint job in the colours of the Union flag represented “value for money”.

When Cameron refitted the military aircraft in 2016, it was equipped with 58 business-class seats, meant to transport high-ranking government officials, such as the prime minister, as well as senior members of the royal family. The retrofitting of the aircraft cost £10 million.

The repainted RAF Voyager joins the ranks of other world leaders getting new or updated modes of transportation. In March, we got a first look at the new German Airbus A350, used to carry the head of state and other high-level officials.

Featured photo by Geoff Robins/Getty Images.

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