UK PM’s new plane takes first flight in new Union Jack-themed paint job

Jun 25, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s aircraft took to the skies for the first time with its new paint job. In video captured by SkyNews, the Royal Air Force Voyager A330 exited the paint shop in Cambridgeshire and took its first flight.

The Airbus A330’s new paint job, which reportedly $1.1 million (cost £900,000)— transformed the aircraft from a grey color with “Royal Air Force” written on the fuselage to this updated design to “better represent” the prime minister on official trips. The new livery features a predominantly white color with “United Kingdom” written on the fuselage. But the most striking feature of the new livery is the tailfin design, which features a Union Jack flag, with some of the coloring running as a streak down the side of the fuselage.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - JUNE 25: RAF Voyager, the aircraft used by the Prime Minister and members of the Royal family, takes flight for the first time, since receiving a £900,000 makeover, on June 25, 2020 in Cambridge, England. It is hoped by Ministers that the new colour scheme will boost "brand Britain" during the trade takes that are set to happen in the future, post-Brexit. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

You can watch the video of the RAF Voyager taking off from Cambridgeshire in the Sky News video below.

The RAF Voyager is the aircraft used by the prime minister, other ministers and senior members of the royal family when they travel on official engagements. The A330 is traditionally used for military purposes and was originally painted in grey to better camouflage the aircraft when it was on official defense missions.

Related: How does the royal family fly?

“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.

The RAF Voyager is one of a fleet of nine A330s used as transport and tankers for inflight refuelling of other aircraft. Then-prime minister David Cameron began using it in 2016, after a retrofitting that cost $12.4 million (£10 million).

Other world leaders are getting new or updated modes of transportation. In March, we got a first look at the new German Airbus A350, used to carry the chancellor, president and other high-level officials. And in the U.S., the president will get two new Air Force Ones when the very expensive modification of two civilian Boeing 747s is completed in 2024.

Featured photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.