Latest Aviation News Civil aerospace GERMAN GOVERNMENT MULLS BUYING NEW AIRBUS PLANES

German government mulls buying new Airbus planes

AFP
10/04/2019 | 323 words

The German government is mulling buying three new Airbus planes to renew its fleet after a series of technical incidents led to delays, the defence ministry said on Tuesday.

"The decision on the acquisition of three A350 is not yet taken, but it is undoubtedly expected very soon," said a ministry spokesman.

A series of defects have plagued German government planes in the past few months, including a breakdown that forced Chancellor Angela Merkel to delay her trip to a G20 summit last November.

According to newspaper Bild, the defence ministry has ordered three new Airbus A350s for a total cost of 1.2 billion euros by 2026.

Each plane costs 640 million euros, according to Bild, and will also be equipped with special features such as VIP booths for members of government, costing an additional 288 million euros.

An extra 229 million euros will be spent on spare parts and "self-protection systems", the paper said.

The aircraft should be available by June 2020.

Two of them will replace two A340-300s that have been in service and used for years, Bild said.

In recent months a host of problems have effected government planes, including an Airbus carrying Foreign Minister Heiko Maas which burst a tyre landing in New York.

In another incident a month ago, the foreign minister was stranded in Mali due to a hydraulic problem with his Airbus A319's landing gear.

At the end of January, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was stuck in Ethiopia due to breakdown with his plane, while Development Minister Gerd Mueller had to cancel a trip to Namibia at the start of the year owing to problems with his plane.

Out of 1,743 government flights between 2016 and 2018, 21 government flights were cancelled or otherwise affected by technical defects, according to official data.

 
 
 
 
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