The UK Royal Air Force's ability to deliver air transport and in-flight refuelling services ventured into a new era on 10 April 2012, when a military-adapted version of the Airbus A330 took off from Brize Norton air base in Oxfordshire to perform its first operational flight.
Twelve months on, and a three-strong fleet of renamed Voyagers have transported more than 30,000 passengers and around 2,300t of freight, as the RAF's 10 Sqn and the AirTanker Services company responsible for introducing an eventual 14 of the type continue to expand their capabilities.
Tanker training with the Tornado GR4 will build on the Voyager's airline-style operations
Comprising two aircraft placed on the UK military register as ZZ330 and ZZ331, and commercially registered G-VYGG, the trio had flown almost a combined 1,900h and 543 sectors by late March, AirTanker says. Typical duties have included flying military personnel to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and Al Minhad air base in the United Arab Emirates in support of the UK's involvement in Afghanistan, as well as deployments linked to British exercises conducted in Canada and Kenya.