News24

Inauspicious start to Hollande's term

2012-05-15 19:00

Paris - French officials say that new President Francois Hollande's plane was hit by lightning en route to Berlin. They say no one was hurt but that the plane returned to Paris as a precaution.

French Defence Ministry spokesperson Gerard Gachet said the Falcon 7X aircraft was struck by lightning shortly after take-off on Tuesday, and returned to the Villacoublay air base for inspection.

Defence officials say the president and his entourage were transferred to another aircraft, a Falcon 900, and took off shortly thereafter.

Hollande took office earlier on Tuesday. He is due to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss Europe's financial crisis.