Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his entire delegation are unexpectedly extending their stay in New Delhi after their aircraft experienced a mechanical breakdown, Canadian officials confirmed today.
Trudeau arrived in India this past Friday to attend the G20 Summit, an annual meeting of leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies. Originally, Trudeau was slated to depart for Canada on Sunday, after paying his respects at a memorial dedicated to Indian independence icon Mahatma Gandhi. However, mechanical issues have delayed Trudeau’s return, as reported by The Guardian UK.
In response to inquiries from AFP, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi pointed to a statement from Justin Trudeau’s office. The statement indicated that the Canadian air force, responsible for operating the plane, had apprised Trudeau and his delegation of “technical difficulties” with the aircraft. “These issues cannot be resolved overnight. Accordingly, Justin Trudeau and his delegation will remain in India until alternative travel plans can be arranged,” the statement elaborated.
Canada’s CTV News identified the faulty plane as an Airbus and stated it’s unclear when Trudeau will be able to leave India, noting that this “isn’t the first time” the plane has faced mechanical issues.
Justin Trudeau’s involvement in the G20 Summit was more low-key than that of some of his G7 counterparts. This comes amid an undercurrent of tension between Trudeau’s government and the Indian authorities over Ottawa’s alleged lackluster approach to right-wing Sikh separatism. India accuses Canada, under Trudeau, of failing to adequately address the activities of Sikh separatists who advocate for an independent Sikh state in northern India.
Justin Trudeau is not alone in encountering such aviation complications. In August, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had to scrap her trip to Oceania due to recurring issues with her government plane, forcing it to return to Abu Dhabi twice.
Additionally, concerns over the reliability of a New Zealand Defence Force plane led to a backup aircraft being arranged for New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ trip to China. Former New Zealand Prime Ministers Dame Jacinda Ardern and Sir John Key have also been victims of similar travel disruptions, due to mechanical failures in RNZAF Boeing 757s and Hercules aircraft.
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