German government planes are famous for breaking down at inopportune moments. The air force said they have a cunning plan to make sure there won't be another fiasco when Angela Merkel flies again this week.
Two government Airbus A340s will be on standby to make sure Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a G20 summit in Japan on Thursday, Germany's airforce said Wednesday.
An air force spokesman confirmed the plan to the dpa news agency after the RND media network first reported on the scheme.
The second plane will be parked on the tarmac at Berlin's Tegel airport and fully prepared for the journey in case the primary aircraft experiences technical problems before takeoff.
The second plane is set to take off for a scheduled training flight to Tokyo if the plane carrying Merkel is able to take off and fly for several hours without a hitch.
The second aircraft would also serve as a replacement if the primary plane is unable to make the return journey, the spokesman said.
Technical problems have blighted the official fleet and caused embarrassing delays for several senior ministers in the past year.
In November, Merkel was forced to take a commercial flight to Buenos Aires after an electrical fault grounded her A340.