Trudeau’s India Departure Delayed due to Aircraft Technical Glitch

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In an unexpected turn of events, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his entire delegation have found themselves unexpectedly delayed in India due to a technical glitch in the aircraft that was supposed to ferry them home. Modi’s home ground had played host to this year’s prestigious G20 summit, and it was during the team’s intended departure that the issue was discovered.

Scheduled to depart on Sunday night, according to local time, the team’s plans were derailed when the Canadian Armed Forces discovered a potentially critical mechanical issue within the aircraft. A hasty declaration from the Prime Minister’s office stated, “Upon our departure for the airport, we were made aware by the Canadian Armed Forces that CFC001 was experiencing technical issues.” The statement went on to reveal that due to the scale of the problems, an overnight solution was not feasible and alternative arrangements would be made.

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However, with a lack of concrete information regarding the delegation’s return, the question of how and when Prime Minister Trudeau will head home remains up in the air. Ensuing discussions will undoubtedly revolve around securing suitable travel arrangements for the entire delegation, which includes government officials and associated media personnel.

Interestingly, the Airbus in question has a record of mechanical issues affecting Trudeau’s official travels. In October 2016, a mere 30 minutes after takeoff en route to Belgium for signing the Canada-Europe free trade deal, the aircraft was forced to return to Ottawa due to an emerging issue.

Further, in October 2019, the VIP plane incurred significant structural damage when it rolled into a wall while being towed into a hangar at 8 Wing Trenton in Ontario. This incident led to the plane being declared unfit for service for several months. As a result of this, Trudeau had to travel to the NATO summit in December 2019 on a backup plane, which was eventually grounded in London due to engine problems.

The Canadian federal government, recognizing aging problems with the fleet, had signed a deal worth a rough estimate of $3.6 billion in July to replace the aging fleet of five planes, which are projected to reach the end of their operational lifespan by 2027. The deal signed by the government includes four new planes and five used ones, purchased from a Kuwait-based company, which will be upgraded to match the capabilities of the existing fleet.

While it remains unclear when the new aircraft will be operational, journalists travelling with Trudeau noticed a second aircraft emblazoned with the Government of Canada logo on the runway. They were informed this was part of the new fleet, two of which are expected to be in service and flying out of Ottawa International Airport this fall.