New Zealand’s Prime Minister Christopher Luxon joined the unfortunate ranks of world leaders and senior politicians who have been forced to catch commercial flights after faults were found on official planes. 

Luxon was about to fly to Melbourne, Australia for the regional leaders ASEAN conference, but pre-flight checks on the New Zealand Defence Force Boeing 757-200 revealed a fault with its nose landing gear. 

In a statement, the Defence Force confirmed Luxon then took a commercial flight to the event. 

New Zealand has two 757-200 jets for its political and military leaders, but Luxon will have to fly back to Wellington on a commercial flight too because the second jet is undergoing planned maintenance. 

This isn’t the first time a politician has been stranded due to issues with an official plane. It’s not even the first time it’s happened to a New Zealand Prime Minister. 

In 2019, Luxton’s predecessor Jacinda Ardern was forced to catch a commercial flight back to Wellington, again from Australia. And 2022 was a bad year for both Nez Zealand’s Air Force and its pair of Boeings. 

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

In May 2022 Ardern’s military jet broke down in Washington DC, just as it was supposed to fly her to San Francisco after meeting President Biden.

And in October 2022 Ardern was forced to stay an extra night at New Zealand’s Scott Base in Antarctica as the troublesome jet had failed again. Ardern and her entourage had to be picked up by an Italian plane, which flew them back to Christchurch. 

But it’s not just the Kiwis having troubles with official jets. 

The German Bundeswehr has sold its Airbus A340-300, the Konrad Adenauer, after it failed to deliver Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to an Indo-Pacific trip. 

The aircraft, sometimes known as Merkel One after serving the former Chancellor for many years, was forced to turn back to Abu Dhabi after a re-fuelling stop not once, but twice. 

The same issue with the plane’s flaps was reported as the cause of both turnbacks and on both occasions nearly full fuel tanks had to be emptied mid-air to allow for a safe landing in Abu Dhabi. 

“That is more than annoying,” Baerbock said at the time.