How the world media reacted to Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's Boeing 757 Defence Force plane breaking down

  • 19/06/2024

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's "embarrassing" plane breakdown isn't going unnoticed around the world, with multiple media outlets reporting on the ordeal. 

Luxon was reportedly "frustrated" and "disappointed" as he left Papua New Guinea on Sunday after a Defence Force plane breakdown. 

His trade mission to Japan was almost derailed during what should have been a brief stopover in the Pacific. 

But two fuses in the Boeing 757 blew while it was being refuelled. 

It meant the PM had to jump on a commercial flight out of Port Moresby to salvage the start of his three-day programme in Japan, leaving behind business and media delegations that had been travelling with him. The group of more than 50 waited in an airport terminal for more than six hours. 

International media has since picked up the story, some taking a light-hearted approach in their reporting. 

"If a plane has to make an unscheduled landing, that often means there's been some kind of medical emergency on board. But an Air New Zealand plane had a very different reason for making an unplanned stop yesterday - they were picking up the country’s prime minister after his government aircraft broke down," CNN reported. 

Meanwhile, Australia's Nine News detailed the moment "disaster struck" for the PM's plane.   

The Guardian also picked up the story, reporting on how it's not the first time the Government has been "embarrassed" by plane drama. 

"Air New Zealand has swooped in to save prime minister Christopher Luxon's trade mission to Japan, after another one of the country's beleaguered defence force planes was grounded in Papua New Guinea over maintenance issues," the outlet said. 

Meanwhile, Reuters also reported on Aotearoa's aging Defence gear. 

"New Zealand's defence force is struggling with ageing equipment and retaining sufficient personnel. The government has said it would like to spend more on defence but is also trying to reduce spending as the country faces economic headwinds," it said. 

Japan Today also reported on the age of the plane, saying it was "increasingly unreliable".