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Ultimate flight delay for German foreign minister


These days, ordinary travelers build in extra time for what seems like inevitable delays and flight cancelations, but it's bigger news when it happens to the German Foreign Minister on her way to an international meeting.

That's exactly what happened last week to Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, whose official A340 suffered a mechanical problem during a fuel stop in Abu Dhabi while on her way to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

Baerbock had to cancel the entire trip when, after hours of work on a defectie wing flap, the plane took off again and quickly suffered the same defect. She tweeted that "We tried everything, but unfortunately it's logistically not possible to carry out my Indo-Pacific travel without the defective plane." (No, not a translation issue; the original German also says that she couldn't travel without the defective plane).

This is the latest of a number of mechanical issues with Germany's two-plane A340 official fleet, and a decision was quickly made to retire both planes within the next few weeks. They were already scheduled to be replaced by three new A350s. In the meantime, Baerbock caught a commercial flight home.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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