Rwanda Flights: Freedom from Torture Protests at AirTanker HQ

Rwanda Flights: Freedom from Torture Protests at AirTanker HQ
Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, Freedom from Torture protested outside of the AirTanker HQ amid the continued speculation of their involvement in the Rwanda flights.

These deportation flights have been ping-ponging in the UK Government as an overall policy.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Pressure on AirTanker Over Rwanda Flights…

Rwanda Flights: Freedom from Torture Protests at AirTanker HQ
Photo Credit: Freedom from Torture.

Freedom from Torture have mentioned that over 26,000 emails have been sent to AirTanker following the speculation in the Rwanda flights.

Nadine Tunasi, the Survivors Speak OUT manager had this to say on the visit:

“When I fled war in my home country, the UK gave me sanctuary and a chance to rebuild my life.”

“But this Government’s Rwanda plan is deeply shameful.”

“Using our lived experience, survivors have been at the forefront of campaigns urging those in power to change direction and show what an alternative asylum system could look like.”

“We’re not going to stop fighting for a UK that treats people fleeing torture and war with compassion.

“Over the last week alone, more than 26,000 people have emailed the airline suspected of being involved in the cruel ‘cash for humans’ deal with Rwanda.”

“The airliner AirTanker thought they could ignore us and thousands of caring people up and down the country.”

“So we went to their headquarters to ask them directly if they’re going to profit from refugees’ pain.”

“It’s vital that we unite to show airlines and the Home Office that we won’t tolerate them flying in the face of human decency.”

The Story…

Rwanda Flights: Freedom from Torture Protests at AirTanker HQ
Laurent ERRERA from L’Union, France, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

More information is being circled amongst journalists that AirTanker may be the airline that will operate these Rwanda Deportation flights.  

Anushka Asthana at ITV mentioned that a source told her that AirTanker are considering again whether to operate these flights. 

The choice of airline operating these Rwanda Deportation flights has also remained contentious in the context of negative PR.  

Originally, back in 2022 after the initial failed attempt, four airlines had confirmed that they would not operate these flights. 

These are: 

  • Titan Airways 
  • AirTanker 
  • Privilege Style 
  • Wamos Air 

Titan Airways has confirmed to AviationSource that they will not be operating these flights full stop.  

We also reached out to AirTanker, Privilege Style & Wamos Air.  

At the time of publication, all three carriers did not respond to our queries. If and when they do respond, we will update this article with their comments.  

Furthermore, AviationSource approached the MOD, the Home Office and the UK CAA for a comment.  

Both the MOD & CAA referred us to the Home Office. The Home Office has not responded to our queries at this time.  

On top of this, even the state airline of Rwanda, RwandAir, has rejected requests to operate these flights.

AirTanker has come into the limelight because of their close collaboration with the UK Government through the Royal Air Force.  


Laurent ERRERA from L’Union, France, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In conclusion, the pressure continues to mount on AirTanker by pressure groups like Freedom from Torture.

A prominent member of the Conservative Party, Grant Shapps, has refused to rule out whether the RAF will be used for these Rwanda flights.

As we know, AirTanker has a long-standing contract with the RAF, hence why the pressure is on them.

But for now, as the ping-ponging continues between the House of Lords & Commons, all eyes will be if this even gets off the ground, once again.

Click the banner to subscribe to our weekly newsleter.

Click the photo to join our WhatsApp channel so then you can stay up to date with everything going on in the aviation industry!

By James Field - Editor in Chief 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
You Might Also Enjoy