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23 NOVEMBER 2015
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In a public relations coup for Airbus, Prime Minister David Cameron is to have an A330 to use on official trips as Britain’s answer to the American presidential jet Air Force One.
Reports say the aircraft will be an RAF A330MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) Voyager, which is based on the Airbus A330-220.
It will be converted from its current fuel tanker configuration with the addition of 158 seats and advanced communications.
The aircraft is expected to keep its RAF livery and will continue to be used as a tanker when not on ministerial duties.
Meanwhile, lack of orders for the A380 may force Airbus to reschedule plans to upgrade the world’s largest passenger jet beyond the original announced date of 2022 or 2023, according to the company.
An upgrade had been requested by Emirates Airlines, the largest customer for the aircraft.
Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier said a buy-in from Emirates was crucial, but Airbus still had to justify to other carriers that an upgraded aircraft had a market.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Richard Lambert, Kimbolton
To get things straight. All RAF Voyagers are A330 aircraft already fitted out with 160ish single class seats, plus the refuelling gear, defence aids , military comms. The VIP fit will simply mean refitting part of the interior with an executive fit out for the period of VIP use - Royals not just pols -, reverting to all single class when in other routine use. Quite simple and not the massive perkbird that the media has overblown for a shock horror story.