German Minister Gerd Müller stranded in Zambia after plane breaks down

Development Minister Müller has been forced to cancel a trip to Namibia and delay his return to Germany. He is the latest in a growing list of high-level German politicians grounded by plane trouble.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller's schedule has been thrown into chaos, causing him to cancel a visit to Namibia and postponing his return home by at least two days. 

The cause of the disruption was yet another government plane breakdown, the latest in a series that saw Chancellor Angela Merkel unable to attend the opening of the November G20 summit in Argentina because of technical problems, and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz stranded in Indonesia after rodents gnawed through the cables of his plane while he was attending International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings on the archipelago in October. 

'Enormously negative effect'

The minister decried the incidents as "enormously negative symbolic effect for the high-tech nation of Germany."

"These failures must come to an end."

Müller was scheduled to depart Malawi on Monday when his Bombardier Global 5000 was unable to take off due to a defective pressure valve. He was eventually able to continue on to Zambia on a commercial flight but has been stranded there since. 

Although he met with Zambian President Edgar Lungu and toured a local copper mine, he was unable to travel to Namibia where he was scheduled to speak with leaders about Germany's historic responsibility regarding its colonial past in the country.

Originally scheduled to fly back to Germany from Namibia late Wednesday evening, it is now unclear when Müller will be able to fly. A government spokeswoman said he is expected to return on Friday.

German air force mechanics have arrived in Malawi to repair the minister's plane, yet they, too, have been forced to bide their time as the replacement valve that was sent their way from Germany is stranded as well. It's in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Cars and Transportation

Late to G20 summit

While en route to a G20 summit in Buenos Aires in November, the A340-300 "Konrad Adenauer" carrying German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz had to make an unexpected landing at the Cologne/Bonn Airport. Merkel showed up late to the conference in the Argentinian capital.

Cars and Transportation

Mile-high rodents

It was the second consecutive month in which the "Konrad Adenauer" needed to be grounded. The A340 also left Scholz stranded in Indonesia following a meeting of the International Monetary Fund in October after rodents gnawed through electric cables.

Cars and Transportation

Trouble in Africa

The "Konrad Adenauer" isn't the only Airbus belonging to the German government that has experienced problems. The A340 "Theodor Heuss" jet carrying German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier experienced technical problems during his trip to several countries in Africa.

Cars and Transportation

Delay in Belarus

Steinmeier also had his fair share of woes with the "Konrad Adenauer" jet. The German president's trip to Belarus in June was delayed due to problems with the plane's hydraulic system.

Cars and Transportation

Pressure starts to tell

German Development Minister Gerd Müller's schedule was thrown into chaos when he was forced to cancel a visit to Namibia — because of plane trouble. Müller was scheduled to depart Malawi when his Bombardier Global 5000 was unable to take off due to a defective pressure valve. He was eventually able to continue on to Zambia on a commercial flight.

js,es/sms (dpa, epd)

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