LONDON – A new livery for the UK Government’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson jet has been unveiled as it departed Cambridge Airport today.

The aircraft, ZZ336, is a Royal Air Force Voyager that has been used for overseas trips for both the Prime Minister and the British Royal Family.

It was delivered to AirTanker in December 2012 as G-VYGG before being handed over to the Royal Air Force in September 2015.

From there, the aircraft was converted from an Airbus A330-200 to a KC3 Voyager (A330-243MRTT) Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft.

Photo: Thomas Saunders

Livery controversy


The aircraft, which now features a Union Jack on the tail of the aircraft followed by United Kingdom in a golden-coloured title, had sparked some political controversy over the past few weeks.

The reasoning behind such controversy has been the price, with it valued to be at around £900,000 for the repaint in Cambridge.

Some have stated that the price tag could have been used to buy 180,000 doses of COVID-19 medication instead.

This is what the aircraft looked like before the repaint. Photo from airport-data.com

A way to promote the UK


However, the UK Government has come out and said this is all part of the country’s strategy around BREXIT in order to “promote the UK around the world.”

Prime Minister Johnson had also questioned the colour of the Voyager previously, as it was painted in an all-gray colour scheme.

“What I will say about the Voyager, I think it’s great, but it seems to be very difficult to get hold of… I don’t know who uses it, but it never seems to be available.”

Making UK great again?


The PM had also taken a very US-style approach with Air Force One and stated that it was “striking” that such a plane did not yet exist for this sort of political element.

Below are some more shots were taken by Airways Photographer and Writer Thomas Saunders who was at Cambridge Airport for its departure :

The UK after BREXIT


Overall, this is something quite significant for the United Kingdom.

With the withdrawal from the European Union scheduled for the start of next year, it is obviously within Prime Minister Johnson’s interest to rebrand the country as one of independence and strength.

This will however come into considerable contention given the amount of damage caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic globally and within the UK, too.