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PM Trudeau stuck in India following G20 summit due to 'technical issues' with plane


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's aircraft is experiencing a technical issue that is forcing the entire Canadian delegation to stay in India, where this year’s G20 summit took place.

Trudeau, his delegation and media travelling with the prime minister were set to depart on Sunday night, local time. However, shortly before leaving, the Canadian Armed Forces discovered a mechanical issue that could not be fixed overnight.

“Upon our departure for the airport, we were made aware by the Canadian Armed Forces that CFC001 was experiencing technical issues,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement.

“These issues are not fixable overnight, our delegation will be staying in India until alternate arrangements are made.”

The prime minister arrived in India on Friday for the G20 summit.

It’s unclear how the delegation, including the prime minister, will get home or when.

This isn’t the first time the Airbus has caused problems for Trudeau and his delegation.

An issue in October 2016 required the aircraft to return to Ottawa 30 minutes after taking off with the prime minister, who was en route to Belgium to sign the Canada-Europe free trade deal.

Then, in October 2019, the VIP plane rolled into a wall while being towed into a hangar at 8 Wing Trenton in Ontario, sustaining "significant structural damage to the nose and right engine cowling," according to the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The plane was out of service for several months that year as a result. A backup aircraft was used to take Trudeau to the NATO summit in December 2019, but it was grounded in London when the Royal Canadian Air Force discovered a problem with one of the engines.

The federal government announced in July that it signed a deal worth roughly $3.6 billion to replace the aging fleet.

Made up of five planes, the fleet’s lifespan is expected to end in 2027. According to government officials, extending that timeline any further would be difficult due to the age of the technology.

The updated fleet includes four new and five used aircraft that will be outfitted to feature the same capabilities. The federal government purchased the used planes from a company in Kuwait, and two of them are expected to start flying out of Ottawa International Airport this fall.

It’s unclear when the new aircraft are supposed to go into service. However, journalists travelling with Trudeau to Asia saw a second plane wrapped with the Government of Canada logo on the tarmac and were told it was part of the new fleet. 

With files from The Canadian Press




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