Germany weighing new VIP transport jet after G20 breakdown

Germany will buy new government jet after the embarrassing breakdown of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's jet that led to her late arrival for Buenos Aires G20 summit.

Germany weighing new VIP transport jet after G20 breakdown 001 Germany's A340-300 VIP Transport Aircraft taking off from Hamburg airport
(Credit: Bundeswehr/Wolfhard Müller)

"The chancellor's belated arrival at the G20 was bitter," German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, extracts of which have released on Saturday.

"This would not happen again, and Germany is now ramping up the crews and checking out the procurement of one or two other long-haul aircraft," said von der Leyen.

Von der Leyen has presented the plan for an expansion of the flight readiness for the chancellor on Wednesday to the cabinet, and the new purchase, which will possibly be Airbus A330 or A350, will be between 200 to 300 million euros.

Merkel's flight to G20 summit in Argentine capital was aborted after take-off when communications systems failed aboard the Airbus A340 jet. The German Chancellor had to fly with a scheduled airliner from Madrid to Buenos Aires one day later.

According to the report, in future a complete replacement aircraft crew will be available as an emergency reserve at internationally important events such as G20 summits or NATO meetings.

After the incident on the way to Buenos Aires, the German Air Force could not fly the chancellor on to the G20 summit in another plane in time because no operational crew was available.

Currently, the German Air Force has two A340s available for the chancellor and other top government officials.