No High Air Clearance: Baerbock slows down again while cruising

As of: January 24, 2024 3:09 PM

En route to Djibouti, Foreign Minister Birbach's plane had to turn back just before its destination. An important permission is missing. The minister's momentum had already been slowed by a plane crash in August.

Foreign Minister Annalena Berbach was attacked again. After the plane broke down in August, when faulty landing flaps twice prevented a scheduled trip to Australia and the minister was stranded in Abu Dhabi for two days due to a lack of high-flying clearance, he has now canceled his East Africa trip this afternoon. Due to the Eritrean fuel shortage, the Bundeswehr's A 321 had to divert to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Attempts to apply for a flight permit from the plane after takeoff from Berlin failed due to a power cut at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Eritrea. There was another wait in the air until the minister's plane ran out of kerosene before flying several loops over the Red Sea.

A replacement engine is already in use

The External Affairs Minister's flight was already a replacement flight and had to be replaced with an A 321 yesterday due to a scheduled A 319 engine failure. Two Air Force planes of the A 340 series, once intended for long-haul flights, were already retired in the fall after the flap incident.

The Central President currently travels with the rest of the A 350. It is not possible to fly around Eritrea with a short-haul flight due to the geopolitical situation over the Red Sea. On one side is the civil war zone of Yemen, and on the other is Sudan, which has been plagued by a civil conflict that has been raging since April.

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It is not known whether the trip will continue

Beerbock wanted to address the security of sea lanes in the Red Sea, among other things, in Djibouti, the first stop of his trip, after Houthi rebels from Yemen have shelled merchant ships in the strait for weeks.

It is not yet clear whether the three-day East Africa trip, which was to take Bearbok to Djibouti, Kenya and South Sudan, will continue, or whether the minister will return to Berlin after a refueling stop in Jeddah.

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