The six-month-old Airbus A321 was photographed at Stansted Airport on the weekend with the brand new purple, white and blue paintwork.
A authorities spokesperson insisted the second plane, which it stated had been repainted with a “International Britain livery”, represents “worth for cash”. They declined to touch upon the price of the lease or new paintwork.
The plane can be used when Mr Johnson, cupboard ministers or members of the royal household are making quick or medium-haul journeys, with a variety that might take them to locations elsewhere in Europe and even so far as the US east coast. The bigger RAF Voyager, an Airbus A330, will proceed for use when ministers or royals are flying additional afield.
Images confirmed the plane was painted in an all-black livery earlier than it was delivered new from the Airbus facility in Hamburg to Titan Airways in October. It’s understood the A321, which is utilized by carriers world wide, together with British Airways and easyJet, is being leased by the federal government from Titan Airways.
In line with knowledge from monitoring service FlightRadar24, the plane was flown from Norwich to Stansted Airport on Friday night.
On Sunday a photograph of the jet, which options the identical livery because the RAF Voyager, with “United Kingdom” in gold font and a Union flag adorning the tail airplane and “sharklet” wingtips, was posted on an aviation discussion board, and subsequently shared on social media.
A authorities spokesperson informed The Unbiased: “Ministers and members of the royal family typically require using non-commercial air journey.
“The plane with its International Britain livery will promote a powerful picture of the function the UK performs on the worldwide stage when it’s utilized by the prime minister, authorities ministers and senior members of the royal family.
“It additionally presents worth for cash in comparison with the ad-hoc rent of personal planes.“
The spokesperson added that industrial flights have been the “most well-liked possibility” for ministers and that prices have been “taken under consideration in all journey choices”.
They stated particulars of the contract with Titan Airways and the related prices could be revealed at a later date.
It’s unclear when the prime minister will first journey on the brand new airplane.
Labour MP Clive Lewis, a former shadow minister for local weather change, stated the acquisition of a second authorities plane despatched the fallacious message in the identical 12 months that the UK hosts the Cop26 UN local weather change convention.
“Why does he want two planes?” he stated. “That is all about ‘International Britain’, it’s in regards to the projection of affect and energy, and there are higher methods to indicate management on the planet than having a carbon footprint the dimensions of a Yeti.
“All of us want to vary how we reside and the way we function, and why not present management from the highest. Clearly the prime minister has to fly, however he ought to lead by instance and use present airways.”
Stewart Hosie, the SNP’s shadow cupboard workplace minister, stated: “It’s staggering that Boris Johnson is losing extra public cash on yet one more Tory purple, white and blue self-importance challenge.
“It speaks volumes of the Tories’ priorities that it’ll throw taxpayers’ money at a non-public Tory authorities jet and Union Jack paint job concurrently imposing a public sector pay freeze, cuts to Common Credit score, and tax rises for hundreds of thousands of staff.
“The Tory authorities should come clear over how a lot public cash it has spent on this second non-public airplane – given it isn’t lengthy after it splurged almost £1m of taxpayers’ money on its first non-public airplane – in the midst of a pandemic.”
The £900,000 price of Mr Johnson’s purple, white and blue paint job for the bigger RAF Voyager was confirmed final summer season by the prime minister’s official spokesman, who stated the repainting would enable the airplane to “higher symbolize the UK world wide with nationwide branding, which can be consistent with many different leaders’ planes”.
Opposition MPs accused the federal government on the time of an “totally unacceptable use of public funds”.
The RAF Voyager, an Airbus A330 jet, underwent a £10m refit to hold ministerial and royal VIPs in 2015.
David Cameron’s authorities defended the choice to repurpose the plane, saying it will save about £775,000 a 12 months in contrast with chartering flights.
The gray paintwork was changed with the Union flag in June 2020 on the request of Mr Johnson’s authorities and got here to be referred to as the “Brexit jet”.
The Unbiased has contacted Titan Airways for remark.