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Military Jets Used To Fly Holidaymakers Because RAF Has No Use For Them

Three military jets are being used to fly holidaymakers because the RAF has no use for them, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Voyager

It has been reported that three military Voyagers, part of a fleet costing £10.5 billion, are being used to fly holidaymakers to resorts because the RAF has no use for them.

According to the Mail on Sunday, holiday firms Thomas Cook and Jet2 have been using them to fly thousands of tourists to Majorca, Tenerife, New York and Florida.

In a statement the MoD said:

"Voyagers are playing a key role in protecting British airspace and the fight against Daesh, but when they're not using them, it makes sense to have them performing other roles as it reduces costs and means they can be ready for operations quicker than if they were held in storage.”

Voyager F-35 (MoD)
An RAF Voyager supported the first 617 Squadron F-35B as they crossed the Atlantic (Image: MoD)

In June, a Voyager from 101 Squadron RAF Brize Norton supported the first 617 Squadron F-35B, Lightning aircraft as they made their way across the Atlantic ocean to their new home at RAF Marham.

RAF Voyagers have also provided air to air refuelling for Tornados as part of Operation Shader targeting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The aircraft are regularly used to transport troops to and from bases in the UK, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands. 

In 2016, a VIP Voyager entered service, having been partly converted into a luxury jet to provide travel for the Royal Family and government ministers.

VIP Voyager
Business Section Of RAF's VIP Voyager Aircraft

The makeover was announced in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the argument being that utilising the aircraft will work out cheaper than the current use of charter flights. 

The VIP aircraft was recently used by Prince William for his trip to the Middle East.