Technical issue on aircraft forces Merkel to change plans for G20 meeting

Germany’s Merkel to Miss Start of G20 Summit After Fault Plagued Personal Plane Makes Emergency Landing		Getty Images29 Nov 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin has started the second day of his visit to Buenos Aires, where a G20 summit is taking place, with a working breakfast with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Chancellor's plane landed safely in Cologne at the airport named after Konrad Adenauer.

Merkel was en route Thursday night on an air force plane, but turned around over the Netherlands after the captain reported a technical problem.

At a Friday press conference, an Air Force spokesman ruled out foul play as the cause of the malfunction, despite early reports the aircraft may have been tampered with. Fire trucks were on standby but weren't needed.

Technical issue on aircraft forces Merkel to change plans for G20 meeting

According to the CNBC, the airplane captain told passengers he had made a decision to land after the "malfunction of several electronic systems", but said there had been no security risk.

Government sources said Merkel had planned bilateral meetings in Buenos Aires with the presidents of the United States, China, Russia and India.

In Argentina on Friday, Merkel had been scheduled to meet Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and their Argentine host, President Mauricio Macri. "Luckily, we had an excellent crew and the most experienced pilot of the special air mission wing". She is due to arrive in time for the summit leaders' dinner on Friday. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and a delegation of officials and journalists were also on the flight. News portal Spiegel Online reported the plane suffered a complete failure of its communication system that left the crew without contact with ground control. Last year, Merkel was delayed on a trip to Egypt because a windshield heater malfunctioned.

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