The Mallorca-based airline hired for UK’s Rwanda deportations has pulled out of the scheme. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Six months from its first failed attempt, the UK government is struggling to find an airline that will carry out its Rwanda deportation flights.

In a committee meeting on Wednesday, the Home Secretary said that talks are on with several airlines to potentially carry out the controversial flights, but no agreements had been reached.

This comes as airlines were actively asked to avoid supporting the government’s plan in June and scheduled operator Privilege Style, which is based in Mallorca, pulled out from future flights as well.

In October, British and Spanish activists travelled to the offices of private Spanish airline Privilege Style in Palma to present them with a ‘worst airline of the year award’, in protest at the airline’s involvement in the UK government’s plan to deport refugees and asylum seekers to Rwanda, including survivors of torture.

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A plane operated by Privilege Style first attempted to fly asylum seekers to the east African country in June but was grounded by an 11th hour ruling by the European court of human rights.

The Mallorca-based carrier had become known as the UK government’s “airline of last resort” for its willingness to conduct deportation flights that other airlines refused. But after an email campaign by torture survivors and refugee organisations, Privilege Style has said it will no longer operate flights to Rwanda.

The development has left the UK government in a fix. Two other charter airlines that previously conducted deportation flights, Titan Airways and AirTanker, have also ruled themselves out of the scheme.

Privilege Style is a private airline which operates charter flights on behalf of other airlines, tour operators, sports teams and other VIP customers.
According to the airline, its VIP customers include several Spanish companies and top Spanish football clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona and the Spanish national team.