Germany: new failure in a plane used for state flights
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas blocked in Mali
New problem for a German Air Force aircraft used to transport members of the federal government. This time, it was Foreign Minister Heiko Maas who was unable to return to Berlin yesterday because the Airbus A-319 in question had a technical problem at the airport in Bamako, Mali. Maas could return from his visit to Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Mali today, but it is unclear whether he will do it with the A-319 or if he will return to Germany with another German Air Force aircraft. What seems certain is the fact that the Berlin government will have to speed up plans to buy new aircraft to be used for "State flights", also because at the end of January the federal president Frank-Walter Steinmeier got stuck in Ethiopia, while in the the same month the Minister of Economic Development Gerd Müller could not go to Namibia due to a technical failure at the Airbus used on that occasion. What happened in late November, however, was even more serious because the Airbus A-340/300 on which the Chancellor Angela Merkel was travelling had a problem during the flight, forcing the pilots to land in Cologne instead of continuing to Buenos Aires; a breakdown that forced Merkel to arrive one day late at the top of the G-20.
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