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Business

Venezuela president mulls sueing Airbus over alleged fault in his jet

The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has claimed he got a back a faulty presidential jet from Airbus after the European plane maker completed routine maintenance. He aims to take the company to court.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (pictured) said he was preparing legal action against Airbus due to what he called a "serious fault" in his presidential jet that appeared shortly after the plane came back from France following five months of routine maintenance.

Maduro said he had been concerned about flying the aircraft because of a faulty wing that he said his domestic technicians confirmed after carrying out an inspection of their own.

"I've called in local experts to do a report," the president said in a televised speech. "They're working on it and asking for Airbus to explain why the jet has a defect if it was just in the shop for five months."

Unproven threats?

"After five months at Airbus in France – my God!" Maduro quipped, confirming a lawsuit was being prepared with the help of an international firm. He added he would no longer use the plane for security reasons.

Airbus was not immediately available for comment, with the news coming one day after the plane maker secured huge orders from a number of nations on the sidelines of a Beijing air show.

Since winning an April election to succeed Socialist leader Hugo Chavez, Maduro had been constantly alleging plots against him, ranging from assassination attempts to Washington-backed plans to create shortages in consumer goods to trigger protests against his government.

In a latest twist, he scrapped his plan to take part in the UN General Assembly in New York as he felt his life was in danger. He cited intelligence reports claiming there had been two highly serious threats in the pipeline, but refused to elaborate on the allegation.

hg/rg (Reuters, AFP)