Germany ready to buy 3 new government planes

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is preparing to purchase three new government planes after its aging fleet suffered a string of embarrassing breakdowns.

The dpa news agency reported that Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen says Friday in Dresden that the government is working on the order. She added “this is necessary; everyone can see that.”

Details on the aircraft and their cost weren’t immediately available, although news magazine Der Spiegel reported the government intends to buy Airbus A350s.

The current flagships of the government’s fleet are two nearly 20-year-old Airbus A340s. In November, Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived late at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina after a problem with one of them forced it to turn back.

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This week, a problem with the other plane delayed President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s return from Ethiopia.

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