Military sends second aircraft after Trudeau’s plane breaks down in Jamaica

OTTAWA – The plane that flew Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Jamaica for a family vacation broke down earlier this week, prompting the Canadian military to send a second aircraft with a repair crew to the Caribbean island.

Defence Department spokeswoman Andrée-Anne Poulin says a maintenance issue on the Royal Canadian Air Force CC-144 Challenger was discovered Tuesday, before Trudeau was due to travel back to Canada.

The Canadian Armed Forces sent a second aircraft and maintenance team to Jamaica, which was able to fix the issue on Wednesday in time for the prime minister, who cannot take commercial flights for security reasons, to travel back on the original plane.


This was the second time in a matter of months that plane problems grounded Trudeau in another country, after technical issues with the CC-150 Polaris plane left him stranded in India for two days last September.

The government did not provide information when asked about what caused the problems with the Challenger in Jamaica.

After initially saying last month the family was paying for their stay in Jamaica, the Prime Minister’s Office clarified this week they were staying for free at a location owned by family friends.

The PMO also said the federal ethics commissioner had been consulted on those details before the trip began and that the family would reimburse the public the amount it would have cost to take a commercial flight.

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