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  • Updated: June 18, 2024

New Zealand PM takes commercial flight after Air Force plane breakdown

New Zealand PM takes commercial flight after Air Force plane

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Christopher Luxon had to switch to a commercial flight en route to Japan after his Air Force plane broke down during a refuelling stop in Papua New Guinea, his office announced on Monday.

Luxon was travelling aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force Boeing 757 when a technical issue arose while the aircraft was refuelling at Port Moresby International Airport on June 17, 2024. The problem involved a command module controlling a small flap on the wing, which limited the plane’s altitude and speed, thus reducing its range, according to a defence spokesperson.

As a result, late on Sunday, Luxon and his delegation transitioned to a scheduled flight from Port Moresby to Tokyo, with a stopover in Hong Kong. Engineers began working on the faulty aircraft at Port Moresby International Airport to resolve the issue.

It was detected while the plane was on the ground in Papua New Guinea.

A delegation of business leaders and journalists accompanying Luxon had to wait until Monday to fly on the Air Force 757 to Brisbane and then catch a commercial flight to Tokyo, the spokesperson said.

Luxon is expected to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during his four-day visit.

In March, the New Zealand leader had to fly commercial to Australia for meetings with Southeast Asian leaders after a problem with the landing gear grounded his defence force plane while still on the tarmac in Wellington.


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