Germany checking if malfunction of Chancellor Merkel's plane had 'criminal' cause

02 December, 2018, 17:24 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Angela Merkel

An Airbus A340 government aircraft carrying German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her delegation to the G20 summit was forced to make an emergency landing en route after suffering technical problems on Thursday evening, the captain said.

The Chancellor's plane landed safely in Cologne at the airport named after Konrad Adenauer.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, February 28, 2018.

The delay will complicate Merkel's schedule at the two-day meeting in Argentina, where the Group of 20 industrialised countries already expect to face "very, very difficult" negotiations on myriad issues. Threat to the passengers on Board the plane "Konrad Adenauer" was not, she assured.

The German Luftwaffe, or air force, is suffering a crisis of aircraft maintainance which spreads from the government duty jets they maintain for Dr Merkel and other senior members of the government including the German president, to combat aircraft.

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The German leader and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz were due to resume their journey early on Friday, flying to Argentina via Madrid, but will arrive after world leaders start their discussions.

The plane was diverted to the Cologne/Bonn airport and landed without incident.

After 30 minutes on board as firemen inspected the plane, a spokesman told reporters the replacement plane would be unable to fly to Buenos Aires, because the crew had already worked too many hours.

Last year Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen took an Airbus A400M to Lithuania to show off the new transport aircraft, but engine trouble grounded it and forced her to return home on a decades-old Transall C-160 transporter.

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