Berlin - Luftwaffe (German Air Force) will buy three brand-new Airbus A350-900 for VIP transportation. The aircraft will cost the German government around 1.2 billion euros (USD 1.35 billion) including interior equipment, such as VIP cabins, and the special security systems.
The Ministry of Defense justifies the purchase stating that absences or late arrivals to damage the national interests and the reputation of Germany.
"The federal government's ability to function, especially its ability to work, is essentially based on its ability to be mobile worldwide," said the ministry in a statement
Last year in November, Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived late at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires due to the technical problems with a Luftwaffe Airbus A340 transporting her to the summit.
The German prime minister is not the only one who was affected by these delays. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and Development Minister Gerd Mueller, among others, were also affected by the delays.
In January, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Ethiopia with a three hour delay after his plane encountered technical problems in Berlin before takeoff.
In January, Development Minister Gerd Müller had to cancel a trip to Namibia during his Africa tour due to another aircraft failure.
And finally early this month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was stranded in Mali.
In 2015, Merkel had to fly to India in a military cargo plane, a C130 Hercules, due to unavailability of the VIP plane.
The first Airbus A350-900 will be delivered to the German Air Force in June 2020 and the other two aircraft in 2022. They will replace the two 20 years old Airbus A340.
With the new jets, the government hopes to finally get rid of the embarrassing headlines in the German media.