The UK Ministry of Defence has clarified its position with regard to the restrictions imposed on some passenger operations with the Royal Air Force's Vickers VC10s, and says the type "remains safe to fly".
"Passengers are still being flown on VC10s on defence business, including pre-deployment exercises, such as to Kenya," the MoD says.
Updating an earlier statement in which it had said that all passenger-carrying activities with the almost 50-year-old type had been halted because of an ongoing airworthiness review, it now says: "We have temporarily stopped using VC10s for a small number of flights while we review the basis on which passengers fly on the aircraft in roles equivalent to commercial flights."
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It adds: "The VC10 remains safe to fly, and continues to do so in support of operations over Afghanistan, with air-to-air refuelling of RAF [Panavia] Tornado GR4s and other coalition aircraft on request."