Titan Airways is now operating its A321 fleet on behalf of the British government, taking on some transport duties previously undertaken by the Royal Air Force.

The British government has access to four passenger-configured BAe 146s (due to retire shortly) and the ‘VIP Voyager’, also known as ‘Vespina’, which acts as a tanker aircraft and transport aircraft for senior officials.

The below link takes you to Jonathan Winton‘s YouTube channel, we fully recommend you follow his channel for more.

The new A321 aircraft has been painted with a livery resembling ‘VIP Voyager’. An image of an A321 aircraft with a livery similar to that used on the Voyager aircraft used by the Royal Air Force to transport senior Government ministers and members of the Royal Family surfaced online last month.

According to the ch-aviation, “it is unclear if the aircraft will be exclusively operated for the government or also be available for Titan Airways’ in-house charter flights when not needed for official duties. The carrier did not respond to ch-aviation’s query in that regard”.

Titan Airways is expecting the delivery of its second A321-200NX(LR) shortly.

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Nic
Nic
3 months ago

The main issue with this ,would be the aircraft would not have a security package and not have military pilots.

Rogbob
Rogbob
3 months ago
Reply to  Nic

Why? The fly civair all the time.

MikeB1947
MikeB1947
3 months ago
Reply to  Nic

Civil airliners have been used for flying military personnel for decades.

James M
James M
3 months ago
Reply to  Nic

Not a huge deal if they’re flying to France or the US though, and frees up a voyager for doing its job.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 months ago

This will like so many more such private partnership deals end up being more expensive, but doubtless, lucrative.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

But still probably cheaper than running the 146, or paying for civi airline tickets.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago

Go to a site like Globalair & there are plenty of near new, 2nd hand business jets available. They would be the most cost effective way to equip 32 Sqn for the CSAT role.

Challenger
Challenger
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Yeah, I assumed they’d pick up a couple of the many small passenger jets in good nick that must have flooded the market in the last year, which would have enabled them to shunt ‘ordinary’ personnel and cargo around the UK when not needed for VIP duties.

Guess that’s the end of 32 squadron then?

Martin
Martin
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Anyone else think an A321 is overkill given they have the Voyager for big stuff.

John Hartley
John Hartley
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin

Globalair has a 2019 Global 6500 & a 2018 Phenom 100EV for sale , as examples of long & short haul runarounds.

Jonny Agar
Jonny Agar
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin

Voyager is a bit big and heavy for short hall stuff.

Jake
Jake
3 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I always thought that the BAE 146s should be replaced by 737s on a 1:1 basis. Have two in VIP configuration and the other two in a cargo configuration. The 737s can operate out of Northolt and the type is already intreated into the RAF, with P-8 and E-7, so will keep costs down. Also addresses the issue of the removal of both C-130 and BAE 146, there’d be nothing smaller than a400/c-17/voyager for cargo ops.

Lusty
Lusty
3 months ago

The second aircraft is G-GBNI, and I believe it has already been delivered. With a registration like that, I assume it will receive the livery as well.

Jake
Jake
3 months ago

The plane flew from Stansted to Jakarta via Dubai last night with *I presume* Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab onboard (I say presume because the VIP helicopter from 32 squadron flew from his constituency to Stansted right before the plane took off). Boris also flew to Manchester today on a BAE146 from 32 squadron so I presume this could indicate there is a need for more than one dedicated VIP aircraft (excluding Voyager). This does beg the question of the future of 32 Squadron… The a321neo doesn’t appear to be operating from Northolt and I can’t see it being sustainable keeping… Read more »

Reaper
Reaper
3 months ago

Titan have been picking up the slack for years. Quite nice leather seats and TVs you don’t get on a trooper is always welcome

Andrew D
3 months ago

Well at least it shows the Flag 🇬🇧

Crabfat
Crabfat
3 months ago

Noted the satcom bubble near the tail. Unusual for a civvy aircraft. Secure comms? Needed if the PM or top brass travelling.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

You’d think it sensible.

What of security clearance regards pilots and crew? I assume all DV’d.
From the article these are not RAF pilots.

Crabfat
Crabfat
3 months ago

Good point Daniele. However, PMs (and royalty) have been known to travel schedule civvy from time to time, with just regular BA crews. I should think if it’s something heavy, with security, entourage, etc. then he would use BorisAir One. where the crews would be DV’d.
Cheers.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Thanks. Does not sit easily with me myself, I’d prefer dedicated secure aircraft with RAF crews.

Crabfat
Crabfat
3 months ago

Well, if that’s the way you like to travel Daniele then who am I to advise you differently… !

(Well.. how the other half live!…)

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

😆

James M
James M
3 months ago
Reply to  Crabfat

It might just be for wifi, they’re increasingly common on US airliners.

If they’re fitting secure comms, I’d expect they’d fit a DAS too, but I can’t see one.

I still think they should have got 32 some Global 6500s and kitted them out with comms and a proper defensive suite. And a less ugly livery.

Nic
Nic
3 months ago
Reply to  James M

I think the days of a Royal Flight or military vip flight have gone . When the 146 go

Herodotus
3 months ago

Surprised that they have opted for an actual aircraft. Why not hang on until a UAV is available in 2035?