UK MoD signs sub-lease deal for Cyprus Airways A330s

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The UK Ministry of Defence has sub-leased two Airbus A330s from Cyprus Airways, according to the latter's interim financial results document.

Early this year, Cyprus Airways announced a recovery plan to help it respond to what it described as the effects of the global financial crisis and intensifying competition on its main routes.

"As a result of the modification of the flight programme, one A330 aircraft was available for sub-leasing," it said in its results statement. "Following an agreement concluded between the Ministry of Defence of the UK and the company, the aircraft was sub-leased for the period August to November 2011, as well as the second A330 for the period September to November 2011."

The sub-lease agreement is likely to have been made to support the "airbridge" used to transport personnel and equipment between RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and the Middle East for operations in Afghanistan.

The UK Royal Air Force will receive its first of 14 modified A330-200 Voyager tanker/transports late this year via a private finance initiative deal with the AirTanker consortium.