A Voyager aicraft. | Cpl Tim Laurence

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Airbus transport aircraft, used by the Royal Air Force in operations such as the evacuation of Kabul and transporting British troops to Poland to bolster NATO as a result of the war in Ukraine, will soon be flying British tourists to Mallorca on holiday.

Under the terms of a lease deal with the British Ministry of Defence, these aircraft are offered to civilian operators when not needed by the Royal Air Force.

For the last two years, as a result of the pandemic, they were not needed, but given the surge in bookings, they will soon be exchanging Kabul and Kyiv for Palma. In Royal Air Force service, these aircraft are known as Voyagers. They are used for troop transport and they also refuel fighter aircraft and fly members of the Royal Family and senior cabinet members.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson caused a storm when it was announced that one of the aircraft had been sprayed white with the colours of the Union flag on its tail.

British travel firms are expected to use the aircraft extensively this summer.