(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s return to the U.S. from the World Economic Forum in Davos was delayed due to a “mechanical issue” with his Boeing jet, a spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
Reportedly, the business jet faced an oxygen leak that made the aircraft unsafe to take off but was not caught until he arrived at a Zurich airport via a helicopter.
The delay led to mocking criticism from some, Rep. Mike Collins, R-Ga., who humorously suggested an alternative mode of travel for Blinken: “Maybe take your electric car instead of your gas-guzzling DEI jet next time.”
Maybe take your electric car instead of your gas-guzzling DEI jet next time. https://t.co/8mA9R8uYjg
— Rep. Mike Collins (@RepMikeCollins) January 17, 2024
ZeroHedge, a conservative news outlet, also criticized Blinken’s reported use of a jet for Davos travel in a sarcastic Twitter post. “Blinken took a helicopter from Davos to the airport. Because, you know, the Davos crowd is so very worried about CO2 emissions,” the outlet said.
Blinken took a helicopter from Davos to the airport.
Because, you know, the Davos crowd is so very worried about CO2 emissions. https://t.co/Ze1uAcRo9o
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 17, 2024
As reported by Fox News, Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the Department of State, acknowledged the delay in a statement.
“There’s a mechanical issue. I don’t know the nature of the mechanical issue, but he is in Zurich. He was scheduled to fly back from Zurich,” Miller claimed.
“The Air Force has a replacement plane inbound. We expect him to be back still tonight. But several hours later than originally planned,” he added.
Bloomberg News reported that the Boeing 737 designated for Blinken was deemed unsafe for flying. Consequently, a smaller alternative jet was flown from Brussels to transport the Secretary of State back home.
This mechanical issue occurred amid ongoing criticism within the aviation industry regarding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) scandals. Critics argue that such initiatives may compromise the merit-based evaluation of employees in the aviation sector.
Several accounts on Twitter reflected on the incident by highlighting the alleged implementation of DEI in the industry.