AirTanker Services

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AirTanker Services.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 2007
Commenced operations 2013
AOC # 2388
Hubs RAF Brize Norton
Fleet size 14
Parent company Airbus Group (40%)
Rolls-Royce plc (20%)
Cobham plc (13.33%)
Babcock International (13.33%)
and Thales Group (13.33%)
Headquarters RAF Brize Norton, United Kingdom

AirTanker Services, operating as AirTanker, is a British airline which operates charter services using reserve aerial refuelling aircraft.

In 2008 the Ministry of Defence signed the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) contract with AirTanker to provide the Royal Air Force (RAF) with an air transport and air-to-air refuelling capability. As well as supporting the RAF, AirTanker holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence, permitting it to carry passengers, cargo and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.[1]

Airbus Voyager of the RAF, owned by Airtanker, arrives at the 2016 RIAT, England

Following the granting of an operating licence the airline flew its first charter flight to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus for the UK Ministry of Defence in January 2013.[2] After delays in certification, its first operational refuelling flight took place on 20 May 2013.[3]

From May 2015, AirTanker leased one aircraft to Thomas Cook Airlines to be deployed on holiday routes. The contract will initially run for three years and involve mainly long haul flights from Glasgow, Manchester and London Stansted Airport. Their first commercial flight took place on 1 May 2015 from Manchester to Cancun and Punta Cana for Thomas Cook Airlines using an Airbus A330.[4]

On 30th September 2016, AirTanker reached the final establishment phase milestone in the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft (FSTA) programme with the achievement of Full Service Date on time and on budget delivering all 14 Aircraft.


An AirTanker Airbus Voyager

AirTanker has ordered 14 Airbus Voyagers (the RAF version of the Airbus A330 MRTT) which have now all been delivered. As of November 2016 the AirTanker fleet comprises the following:

  • 14 A330 (used for air transport/charter work and MRTT).[5]


  1. ^ Type A Operating Licence Holders
  2. ^ AirTanker’s first flight as an airline
  3. ^ Osborne, Anthony (20 May 2013). "AirTanker Cleared To Begin Air-To-Air Refueling Operations". Aviation Week. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "AirTanker Makes Commercial Debut". Airliner World: 5. July 2015. 
  5. ^ G_INFO - Civil Aviation Authority

External links[edit]

Official website