Canada’s PM Trudeau leaves India after a flight issue, now resolved.

Canada’s PM Trudeau leaves India after a flight issue, now resolved.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau concluded his visit to India, which was unexpectedly extended by two days due to a mechanical issue with his aircraft. Originally scheduled to depart after the G20 summit concluded, Trudeau’s departure was delayed, leading to mockery from opponents and Indian social media users. This setback followed a tense meeting between Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, further straining Canada-India relations, which had been deteriorating.

Before his trip to Delhi, Trudeau surprised many by announcing a pause in talks on a trade treaty between Canada and India, exacerbating existing tensions. Protests by Canada’s substantial Sikh population have been a focal point in these tensions, with India expressing concerns about Sikh separatist activities. During their meeting, Modi raised concerns about the “anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada,” accusing them of promoting secessionism and inciting violence. In response, Trudeau emphasised the importance of respecting the rule of law, democratic principles, and national sovereignty. He also discussed foreign interference in Canada’s affairs, including India, as part of a broader investigation into election interference.

Trudeau’s absence from a weekend dinner for world leaders hosted by the Indian President and his quick withdrawal from a handshake with Modi raised eyebrows. It is unclear how he spent the extra two days in India, but reports suggest he remained at his hotel with no further diplomatic engagements.

The delay was attributed to a “maintenance problem” with Trudeau’s aircraft, a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CC-150 Polaris, necessitating the replacement of a faulty component. The RCAF stated that passenger safety is paramount and that pre-flight safety checks are standard practice. A replacement aircraft was dispatched to retrieve Trudeau, and a technician was sent to India to address the issue. The CC-150 Polaris plane, part of an ageing fleet, has experienced previous technical glitches and is due to be replaced soon.

This incident is not the first time Trudeau has faced plane-related travel problems; a plane carrying journalists collided with an aircraft chartered for his campaign in 2019, although he was not onboard at the time.


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