Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the UK government spent more than $1 million (£783,940) painting an Airbus A321neo in the British flag.
The information was revealed after a freedom of information request was made to the UK government by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.
The huge spend follows criticism of Johnson in 2020 when it was discovered the government spent $1.1 million (£900,000) respraying an RAF Voyager that would be used to fly him around the world.
The A321neo, which is owned by Titan Airways, was also painted in the British flag colors as part of the strategy to promote “the Global UK branding”.
According to the Mirror, the original A321 was later replaced with a replica jet but the aircraft came supplied with the same Union Jack flag livery.
“Taxpayers will be livid at the sky-high cost of this paint job. Ministers should rein in their love of luxury,” said TaxPayers’ Alliance campaign manager Conor Holohan.
In response to the freedom of information request the government wrote: “The total cost of painting the aircraft in question with the Union Jack was £783,940. The branding of this aircraft with the Union Flag was an intentional Government policy to project the role of the United Kingdom on the international stage.”
It added: ““The aircraft with its Global Britain livery promotes a strong image of the role the UK plays on the international stage when it is used by the Prime Minister, government ministers and senior members of the royal household. It also offers value for money compared to the ad-hoc hire of private planes.”