By James Bryce
IT’S not quite Topgun, but at least it will save some cash.
In a deal struck by the Ministry of Defence, soldiers are to be flown to and from Gibraltar by budget airline EasyJet as part of a cost cutting exercise.
British service personnel flying with the carrier will benefit from substantial discounts on excess baggage in a bid to compensate for the large amount of kit they are required to carry.
As well as Gib, the deal will see around 50,000 members of the Army, Navy and Air Force flown to and from destinations including Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Cyprus.
The deal will apply to all ranks, including generals, and ends a previous arrangement which involved personnel having to contact the ministry to make travel arrangements.
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Holmes, head of defence travel, said: “This new partnership represents an excellent opportunity to drive out more efficiencies through smarter procurement.
“The MoD is constantly seeking to identify new business initiatives that will help generate savings and offer better value for money to the customer. This new partnership is the first of its kind with any low cost carrier.”
An EasyJet spokesman added: “We now hope to secure travel deals with other government departments as well as with private sector companies.”