Ministry of Defence statement: Preparatory work will be carried out on HMS Ark Royal over the winter to enable her to travel from Portsmouth to Turkey, where she will be recycled, at the same location where HMS Invincible was also recycled.
Bids received for further use for HMS Ark Royal were considered, but were judged either not feasible or appropriate, or carried too much risk.
– Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology
HMS Ark Royal, like her sister ships, served this country with great distinction. Retiring her five years earlier than planned was a difficult decision but it was the right one that, combined with her sale, has saved over a hundred million pounds. That has helped the MoD achieve a sustainable and balanced budget for the first time in decades.