Canadian Prime Minister
and his delegation may fly back home on Tuesday. A second aircraft has been flown to Delhi but since Canada’s VVIP fleet is ageing, the situation ie being described as “fluid”.
“The Canadian Armed Forces continue their best efforts to get the Canadian delegation home. We will keep you updated regularly as the situation evolves.
Their latest update shows an earliest possible departure of Tuesday late afternoon. The situation remains fluid,” the Canadian PM’s office said in a statement on Monday.
The over 30-year-old aircraft supposed to fly Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his delegation back home on Sunday night had developed a snag just before departure.
“Upon our departure for the airport, we were made aware by the Canadian Armed Forces that CFC001 was experiencing technical issues. These issues are not fixable overnight, our delegation will be staying in India until alternate arrangements are made,” the Canadian Prime Minister’s office had said on Sunday night (India time). Now, CFC002 is supposed to fly back the PM.
The wide-body Airbus A310 had flown Trudeau to Delhi from Singapore on September 8 and was to leave for Ottawa via Rome on Sunday when a glitch as detected. Incidentally in the summer of 2018, the aircraft had developed a snag when Trudeau was to leave for Delhi. The flight was delayed that time too. There have been other instances too of this ageing aircraft suffering issues. The Canadian government is in the process of replacing the old VVIP aircraft.
This is not the only case of a VVIP flight getting delayed in recent times due to snags on old planes. Last month, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had to cancel her trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji after her 23-year-old Airbus A340 yet again suffered a snag during refuelling in Abu Dhabi. Germany is also retiring its old VVIP fleet.
The most famous VVIP aircraft — US president’s Air Force One — will be a brand new Boeing 747 by 2027 when the current ageing jumbo jets used for the job are retired. There are two exactly similar Air Force Ones in service. The first of the new jumbos will join the presidential fleet in 2027 and then second one a year later. President Biden has decided to retain the well known blue and white livery on the new Air Force Ones. The two Air Force Ones have been flying from the term of President George Bush senior who served from 1989-93.
Indian dignitaries recently got two state-of-the-art Boeing 777s that replaced the over three-decade old jumbo jets of Air India which use to fly the president, PM and VPs for lingual international journeys.