German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Monday was forced to pause her one-week trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji after her plane had an issue with one of its landing flaps.
A spokesperson for the foreign office who was on board the Bundeswehr flight said: “Due to a mechanical problem, we have to return to Abu Dhabi for safety reasons. The options for further travel planning are currently being clarified,” according to German news.
The plane problem forced the crew to return to the United Arab Emirates on Monday morning, stranding Baerbock and her delegation there.
The pilot — who has been flying for 35 years — said such an error had never before occurred during his career, according to German news. Eighty tons of kerosene had to be dispensed with for the plane to land safely. Engineers are still checking whether the plane can be repaired with spare parts or on-board equipment.
The minister and a small delegation could potentially continue the trip down under on a charter flight Monday evening, according to German news.
In May, Baerbock was stranded in Qatar, after her flight suffered tire damage on her way back to Berlin.