Thomas Cook to lease military refuelling plane for long-hauls

CHARTER airline Thomas Cook yesterday announced a deal to lease a military transport-refuelling aircraft for its long-haul flights from Glasgow, Manchester and Stansted to Cancun, Las Vegas and Orlando.

The airline will lease the A330-200, which was used to ferry British troops to and from Afghanistan, from May on a three-year deal.

AirTanker, the British consortium which provider refuelling tankers for the Royal Air Force, will operate the aircraft. It will, however, be painted in Thomas Cook’s livery and will have its cabin crew. The A330 will be modified from its military use and will be fitted with 323 economy seats for passengers.

Christoph Debus, head of Thomas Cook Airlines, said: “If everything goes according to plan, of course we are willing to extend this current deal for one aircraft, or maybe to add some other aircraft.”

AirTanker managing director Dave Mitchard said: “We certainly would hope that there is the potential to place more aircraft with Thomas Cook.”

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