Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and his entire delegation have been forced to extend their stay in New Delhi for the G20 summit by an extra day after his aircraft broke down, Canadian officials confirmed.
Trudeau arrived in India for the meeting of the leaders of 20 leading economies on Friday.
He was due to return home on Sunday after laying a wreath at a memorial to Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, but a mechanical fault kept him in India overnight.
The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi referred AFP to a statement from Trudeau’s office saying that the Canadian air force, which operates the plane, had informed the delegation it “was experiencing technical difficulties”.
“These issues are not fixable overnight, our delegation will be staying in India until alternative arrangements are made,” it added.
Canada’s CTV identified the plane as an Airbus, saying it was not clear when it would be able to return, adding it “isn’t the first time” it had had problems.
Trudeau’s presence at the G20 summit was lower-key than some of his G7 counterparts, and came against a backdrop of tensions between his government and host India over Ottawa’s handling of rightwing Sikh separatists.
New Delhi accuses Ottawa of turning a blind eye to the activities of radical Sikh nationalists who seek a separate Sikh homeland in northern India.
Trudeau is not the only world figure to have been a victim of problems with an aircraft issues in recent months. In August, Germany’s foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock, was forced to abandon a trip to Oceania after a problem with her government plane twice forced it to return to Abu Dhabi.
In June, the New Zealand defence force plane ferrying the country’s prime minister, Chris Hipkins, to China was judged so unreliable that a backup plane flew in reserve. Former prime ministers Dame Jacinda Ardern and Sir John Key have previously become stuck during trips around the world after RNZAF Boeing 757s and Hercules aircraft broke down.
Source: The Guardian