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Queen’s official fleet of planes to be sold off in defence cuts

Leah Sinclair
·2 min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen’s official fleet of planes is set to be sold off next year as part of government defence cuts.

It will be the first time there isn’t a dedicated aircraft for the Royal Family during the Queen’s reign and may mean senior royals will be forced to use Boris Johnson’s jet instead.

The decision is part of the Ministry of Defence’s Integrated Review, and there are currently no plans for a replacement for the four BAE-146 passenger jets, according to Mail Online.

The BAE-146 regional planes are part of the RAF’s historic 32 (Royal) Squadron, known as The Queen’s Flight.

The Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have to share the Prime Minister’s RAF Voyager plane, which underwent a controversial £900,000 makeover in 2020 and was rebranded with a Union Jack flag.

Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons defence committee, said: "The selling off of the BAE-146s will leave a gaping void in the RAF’s ability to meet military and civil taskings.

"The BAE-146 is a highly valued versatile aircraft that has served senior members of the Royal Family, military commanders and prime ministers with distinction for decades".

Labour MP Gareth Thomas, whose Harrow West constituency is close to RAF Northolt, said: "Ministers need to explain as a matter of urgency how the Queen and Royal Family will be transported to fill crucial royal and Commonwealth responsibilities.”

The MoD’s Integrated Review also reveals plans to reduce the Army by 10,000 soldiers which have been met with criticism.

Important ships and frontline aircraft are also set to be withdrawn from service.

The results of the review are due to be formally revealed in two stages later this month.

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