Angela Merkel hit by plane trouble on way to G20

Aaron Brown
December 2, 2018

The plane has landed safely in Cologne, the spokesman told CNN on Friday.

The German news agency dpa reported Thursday that the government Airbus, which was en route to Buenos Aires, turned around over the Netherlands about an hour into the flight.

Several firefighting vehicles were on stand-by as Merkel's plane landed because it had more fuel on board than is customary during landing, dpa reported.

The German leader plans to fly to Madrid early Friday and from there take a commercial flight to Argentina, accompanied by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and a small delegation, according to an official.

The captain told passengers aboard the plane he made a decision to switch aircraft at the Cologne-Bonn airport in northwestern Germany after the 'malfunction of several electronic systems'. The delay forced Merkel to miss the start of the G20 summit and a scheduled meeting with President Donald Trump.

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Merkel, who had planned bilateral meetings with the presidents of the United States, China, Russia and India, was unlikely to arrive in Buenos Aires until Friday evening, German government sources said.

The plane had suffered a complete breakdown of the on-board communication system, a problem described as extremely rare, which forced the pilot to communicate via a satellite phone instead.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel steps down from Airbus "Konrad Adenauer" on late November 29, 2018 on the tarmac of Cologne's airport after an emergency landing.

It was not immediately clear when a new aircraft would arrive to continue the 15-hour flight to Argentina. Merkel is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria and Ukraine, including the recent incident in the Kerch Strait.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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