Merkel reaches India in military aircraft

Merkel reaches India in military aircraft

German Chancellor Angela Merkel had to fly from Berlin to New Delhi in a military cargo plane on Sunday, as her special aircraft was grounded following a technical glitch. 

The German Chancellor was scheduled to arrive in New Delhi at 9:50 pm on Sunday.

But her flight was delayed as ‘Konrad Adenauer’, the specially equipped Airbus A340 she generally flies in, developed a technical glitch just before it was to take off with her and her entourage, including six federal ministers of Germany, apart from officials, business leaders and journalists.

Sources here said that Merkel and her entourage had to board a military cargo aircraft as engineers in Berlin reported it would take hours to fix the glitch in ‘Konrad Adenauer’, named after Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer, Germany’s first post-war chancellor.

Merkel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will jointly chair the third Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) in New Delhi during her three-day visit.

The two leaders will be in Bangalore on Tuesday when she will visit the innovation centre as well as vocational training centre of German company Robert Bosch GmbH.

Merkel also had troubles while flying to New Delhi in 2011 to meet the then prime minister Manmohan Singh and jointly chair with him the first Indo-German IGC.

Tehran had delayed permission for her aircraft to fly over Iran to reach New Delhi. Her aircraft had to turn round and circle over Turkey, before permission was finally granted - just before it had run out of fuel. The issue had turned into a diplomatic tiff between Germany and Iran. Tehran’s envoy to Berlin was summoned to the foreign ministry of the German government where senior officials lodged a strong protest over “breach of international protocol” by Tehran.

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