Germany Can’t Seem to Keep Angela Merkel’s Planes in the Air

Due to mechanical problems with her plane, German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew Iberia business class to the G20 Summit in Argentina in December.

It seems, though, that this wasn’t a one-off and the German government is unable to keep their fleet of military executive planes in the air.

On Monday an aircraft servicing company’s van struck the Chancellor’s plane and damaged it. The van was being driven by a woman so overtaken by spotting the aircraft that she “jumped out of the vehicle for a cell phone photo.” She didn’t first apply the parking brake, it “rolled forward and rammed the nose” of the jet.

Instead of flying from Wuppertal, Germany (near Dusseldorf) back to Berlin in 45 minutes she had to take the helicopter for the 330 mile trip.

The Luftwaffe is having so much trouble, it seems, keeping planes in the air that it’s affecting Merkel’s ability to schedule meetings.

Currently, none of the four “Global” jets are available any more, and even one of the big A340 aircraft has been in maintenance for weeks.

… In April, a tire of “Konrad Adenauer” burst at the landing in New York, in February Maas had stuck because of a hydraulic failure on the landing gear of his aircraft temporarily in Mali, West Africa .

Even more dramatic were the technical problems with a “Global5000” in mid-April. When Bundeswehr pilots had picked up the jet from a maintenance facility in Berlin-Schönefeld, they lost control of the plane shortly after take-off and had to make an emergency landing . They missed the runway, skidded across the lawn. The jet was badly damaged.

(HT: D.R.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. In Europe, the EU, most heads of state fly biz on a commercial carrier. They also are able to shop at a local supermarket. Nothing secured or shut-down. Only in the F***ing USA need the President/Head of State to be protected from its own people.

    Sad but true…

  2. I’m surprised she isn’t flying Iranian Airlines or Aeroflot. Those are her real national airlines.

  3. Maybe if Merkel focused more on Germans instead of welcoming in and paying for hoards of economic migrants and dangerous male refugees there would be money to maintain the fleet.

  4. As a German I find it quite embarrassing to see that our heads of state have such a unreliable air service. Some of the planes are over 25 years old, and Lufthansa maintenance has lost a lot of reputation after the last two incidents in which planes were in maintenance and had serious malfunctions.

  5. @M, Only in the USA? I was traveling in Latin America with our local mayor (a sister cities visit) and people were surprised he was traveling with just his wife, an assistant, and an interpreter. Where were his bodyguards? No local mayor would go out without his bodyguards where we were. I’ll bet in well over 100 countries a head of state needs and has protection while traveling.

  6. >The Luftwaffe is having so much trouble, it seems, keeping planes in the air that it’s affecting Merkel’s ability to schedule meetings.

    IDK maybe the RAF snuck into the maintenance department?

    Brittanica rules the waves! (of turbulence)

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