Merkel's plane makes unscheduled landing after technical hitch

02 December, 2018, 17:19 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Merkel's plane makes emergency stop, tech issues reported

The German chancellor arrived in Buenos Aires late on Friday after a delay which followed her plane's unscheduled stop on Cologne en route to Argentina.

Around an hour into the trip from Berlin, the captain told passengers he had made a decision to land at Cologne-Bonn airport in northwestern Germany after the "malfunction of several electronic systems".

The Airbus A340 had a "serious malfunction" one hour into the 15-hour flight from Berlin to Buenos Aires, Merkel said.

Merkel's delayed arrival has thrown her schedule into disarray, and DPA reported she was to miss the traditional G20 "family photo" of attending heads of state and government.

Merkel and other passengers initially remained on board the aircraft, called "Konrad Adenauer", as mechanics inspected its brakes and several fire engines waited nearby, according to a Reuters reporter on board.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had a brief conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the ongoing G20 summit in Argentina, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

"I'm glad we had the most experienced captain of the German Air Force in command", she said.

Interestingly, this is not the first time the same Airbus 340, named after German statesman Konrad Adenauer, experiences failures that force VIP to change their original plans: Scholz was reportely grounded olast month after an International Monetary Fund meeting in Indonesia. Later, they boarded another plane to Madrid. It was not immediately clear which bilateral meetings would have to be rescheduled.

The German air force on Friday ruled out sabotage, with a spokesman telling national news agency DPA that "there is absolutely no indication of a criminal act".

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