AirTanker Services

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AirTanker Services logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 2007
Commenced operations 2013
AOC # 2388
Hubs RAF Brize Norton
Focus cities Birmingham Airport
Fleet size 14
Parent company Airbus (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 charter airline which operates charter flights 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 30 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.

AirTanker also provides twice-weekly flights from RAF Brize Norton to RAF Mount Pleasant on the Falkland Islands mainly for military personnel, though fare-paying passengers are also allowed to travel.


An AirTanker Airbus Voyager

As of December 2017 the AirTanker fleet comprises the following:[5]

AirTanker Fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Notes
Airbus A330-200 4 Aircraft are damp and wet leased to other operators when not required to support the Royal Air Force requirements.
1 leased year round to Thomas Cook Airlines
1 wet-leased seasonally to TUI Group and damp-leased to Thomas Cook seasonally
1 leased to seasonally[6]
Airbus Voyager (A330 MRTT) 10 Multi-Role Tanker Aircraft operated for the Royal Air Force under military regulations under the FSTA contract.
Total 14 0


  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 retrieved 28 January 2017
  6. ^ AirTanker Leasing details, accessed 27 March 2018

External links[edit]

Official website