Baerbock cancels trip to Pacific – breakaway flights retired
Twice within 24 hours, Annalena Baerbach tried in vain to fly to Australia with an Airbus ready to fly. She broke off a week-long business trip on Tuesday morning. Troubled government planes should be retired.
DThe Bundeswehr is reaping the consequences from the breakdown of a government plane on a trip by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbach. An Air Force spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that the two A340s will be phased out soon. “Spiegel” and “Bild” had previously reported that the planned phase-out would be brought forward.
“We will be decommissioning the two A340s soon, in the coming weeks,” a spokesperson said. According to previous plans, the two Airbus A340 aircraft were to be retired by the end of September 2023 and 2024. Instead, the existing, modern A350 will be used for long-haul routes in the future.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbach cut short her planned trip to Abu Dhabi for a week-long visit to the Pacific region. The Bundeswehr flight readiness engine suffered the same malfunction twice within 24 hours on Monday and Tuesday. After takeoff, the landing flaps can no longer be retracted. The surprise cancellation came down on Tuesday morning.
“We tested and planned to the last minute, but unfortunately, after the failure of the flight readiness flight, it was not possible logistically to represent the planned stops of the Indo-Pacific journey,” a spokesperson said. Central Foreign Office. The Green politician was expected to visit Australia, New Zealand and the island republic of Fiji first.
According to his delegation, Baerbock was due to take a scheduled morning flight from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, directly to the Australian capital Sydney with his entourage due to an air force engine failure. But it is clearly impractical.
That night, Baerbock’s representatives and the journalists traveling with them were asked to meet in the hotel lobby at 8:00 p.m. to depart for the airport. The decision to cancel the tour, which was a complete surprise at the time, was taken only when the entire entourage was already standing in the lobby ready to leave.
Beerbock himself wrote on X (formerly Twitter): It is logistically impossible to continue the Indo-Pacific without the defective aircraft. “It’s beyond annoying.”
The delegates talked about a difficult decision at the end. “This is very unfortunate,” it said. It is important to repair the damage done in the coming months. Top officials are expected to visit Australia, New Zealand and Fiji for talks and important meetings. A canceled trip must be reworked. The Indo-Pacific region is a priority for the central government.
Like his delegation, Baerbach will now return to Berlin on a scheduled flight. She flew with part of the delegation to Dubai, a distance of 150 km. However, the exact route for their return journey has not been disclosed for security reasons.
Scholz defends ready-to-fly, left-wing politician calls for abolition
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said on the sidelines of a public debate on Baerbock’s plane crash in Potsdam on Monday evening: “I think we are very prepared to fly with the best equipment available and properly maintained. Of course things can go wrong.” He added: “The important thing is that the technicians recognize everything in good time, and that’s what happened here.”
“It is a shame that the foreign minister was unable to continue his trip,” FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann told Germany’s (RND) editorial network about the new incident. He called for the purchase of new engines for flight readiness.
Gesine Lötzsch, a left budget politician, insisted that the option to fly should be completely abolished. It is “expensive, unreliable and leaves a large environmental footprint,” Lötzsch told “Spiegel”. He argued that members of the government should use scheduled flights in the future. “My experience is that there are enough reliable airlines that the federal government can book,” Lötzsch said.
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