German Chancellor Angela Merkel's journey to Buenos Aires for this weekend's G20 summit was interrupted on Thursday after the government's "Konrad Adenauer" Airbus airplane experienced "electronic problems" mid-flight, German media report.
Merkel’s plane had to return after just an hour into the 15-hour flight to Buenos Aires after experiencing a technical malfunction.
According to DW, shortly after departing from Berlin on Thursday evening, the plane circled over the Netherlands and landed at the Cologne/Bonn airport in western Germany, which is also home base for the German government's aircraft.
Merkel, who was also traveling with Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and a pool of journalists, hoped to switch into a replacement plane at the airport, but it is unclear how the travel interruption will affect the chancellor's attendance at the G20 summit which is due to start tomorrow, and where Merkel is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria and Ukraine, including the recent incident in the Kerch Strait.
The pilot informed the chancellor and other passengers that a technical defect had caused several electronic systems on the Airbus A340-300 to fail, reported news agency DPA.
This is a national embarrassment. Germany has more than enough money, you'd think they could spend some of it to buy planes that actually flyhttps://t.co/j3hhChzKWH— Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus) November 29, 2018
This is not the first time Germany has had problems with "made in Europe" airplanes: Issues with the government's A340 jets also caused travel problems for German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during several of his diplomatic trips this year.