dpa/GNA – German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas became the first official to use the country’s new government plane, named Kurt Schumacher, as he flew to Egypt on Sunday evening.
The Airbus A350 plane is named after Germany’s popular post-war Social Democrat leader.
A spokesperson for the German air force said the plane had been tested last year on an ultra-long-haul flight to Australia.
The German government has ordered a total of three A350-900 planes, which are 67 metres long and can accommodate some 140 passengers and at least 10 flight attendants. All have conference areas and a lounge.
The plane marks a step up for Maas, who faced a number of technical issues with government aircraft in 2019 that led to hours-long delays or being late for important meetings.
In February 2019, for example, he was stranded in Mali and forced to wait 20 hours for a replacement plane to arrive.
And he’s not the only one: German Chancellor Angela Merkel had to interrupt her journey to the G20 summit in Argentina in November 2018 due to a malfunction, arriving a day late.
The new aircraft’s maiden voyage went off without a hitch: The twin-engine jet landed safely in Cairo after a four-hour flight.
Maas is in the region to take part in talks about a possible revival of the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.