Minister muller: aircraft failures damage germany’s image

Development minister gerd muller says repeated technical problems with federal government aircraft are damaging germany’s image in the world.

The mishaps had an "enormously negative symbolic effect for the high-tech country of germany," the CSU politician told the german press agency during a visit to zambia. Muller had to cancel a planned visit to namibia at the last minute this week due to a technical problem with a government plane and extended his stay in zambia several times.

"If cabinet members are not fit to fly and a valve cannot be repaired within three days, then no one in zambia can believe it," he said in a telephone conversation on wednesday evening. He could live with the delay, but it was difficult to promote the quality standards known as the "made in germany" brand at the same time. He demanded: "the failures must have an end."The ability of the chancellor and cabinet members to fly must be ensured at all times.

At the end of november, chancellor angela merkel (CDU) had to interrupt her flight to the G20 summit in buenos aires because of a serious technical defect on the chancellor’s airbus "konrad adenauer. She finally switched to a scheduled flight and arrived at the summit meeting in argentina with considerable delay. In addition, there had already been a major mishap with the airbus in october: rodents had paralyzed the plane during a stop in indonesia and forced finance minister olaf scholz to make a return trip of more than 20 hours by scheduled flight. Mice or rats had gotten into the parked airbus and nibbled on important cables.

Muller’s twin-engine bomber global 5000 of the german armed forces air force could not take off in malawi on monday due to a defective valve. The minister and his delegation used a scheduled flight to get to zambia. The planned dates in namibia could no longer be met by commercial flights. Muller then demanded to stay in zambia. In the meantime, technicians from germany flew to malawi, but on wednesday a spare part was still missing. The return trip is now planned for friday. Muller’s trip to southern africa was originally scheduled to end in namibia on wednesday evening.

Defense minister ursula von der leyen had to protect the flight after the serious breakdown of the chancellor’s airbus in november. The failure rate for government flights is only two percent. The CDU politician explained that, statistically speaking, flight readiness is very reliable.

According to the air force, the flight readiness team includes 14 aircraft from the manufacturers airbus and bombardier. A large part of the machines was purchased in 2010 and 2011 for a total of more than 600 million euros. The modernized fleet will be used, among other things, to transport members of the government on short-, medium- and long-haul routes.


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