Italian aircraft rescues NZ PM Jacinda Ardern after her plane breaks down in Antarctica

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An Italian plane came to the rescue of the New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern in Antarctica after her flight encountered technical snags and was cancelled.

Jacinda Ardern

Image: AP

The aircraft scheduled to carry New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the personnel accompanying her home from Antarctica broke down on Saturday. PM Ardern was scheduled to arrive in Christchurch at about 6 AM today but the Air Force Hercules aircraft was not able to make the flight, according to NZ Herald.

However, an Italian plane came to the rescue of the New Zealand PM. According to a spokesperson of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s office, an Italian plane will instead take the job to fly her and her entourage back to New Zealand in this instance. Prime Minister Ardern was in Scott Base this week, marking the 65th anniversary of the site. Scott Base is New Zealand’s Antarctic research station and is situated at Pram Point on Ross Island.

New flight schedule for Ardern

The Italian flight to carry Ardern and her entourage back to New Zealand was expected to be wheels up from Scott Base at 10 AM and will likely arrive in Christchurch at about 6 PM today.

The trip was delayed in the beginning too when the Antarctica-bound trip was cancelled mid-flight because of poor weather conditions. The C-130 Hercules of New Zealand Royal Air Force had to be turned back “due to poor weather at McMurdo Sound,” New Zealand General Manager for Communications and People Megan Nicholl had said earlier, reported NZ Herald.

Meanwhile, Ardern reflected on her trip last night and share her impression of the work being undertaken in Antarctica.

“It’s one thing to read on paper and many of us will have heard about the research that’s been that’s been conducted here – but to be able to come and see it in person and talk to those who are part of it was something else,” she was quoted saying by NZ Herald.

Moreover, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s visit to Scott Base marked the first full season of Antarctic research and environmental protection after two years of disruption by COVID-19.

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