Secretary of State Antony Blinken found himself “stranded” in Zurich, Switzerland after being informed that he couldn’t fly back to the U.S. on his scheduled aircraft due to an oxygen leak. Bloomberg reported the incident, leaving Blinken stuck in the Swiss city while his staff members were forced to take commercial flights back to the U.S. on his behalf.
This incident not only left Blinken inconvenienced and grounded in Zurich but also brought further embarrassment to Boeing, the company responsible for the modified Boeing Co. 737 aircraft that was supposed to transport him. Boeing has been facing a string of technical and safety issues recently, with all of its Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners being grounded by regulators due to a door plug incident during an Alaska Airlines flight.
Anthony Blinken is stranded in Davos because his Boeing 737 has been deemed unsafe to fly, as an oxygen leak detected previously could not be remedied.
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) January 17, 2024
In addition to the airline’s troubles, the incident has also raised questions about Boeing’s hiring practices, particularly in regard to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hiring policies. Criticism has come from figures including businessman Elon Musk, who has voiced concerns over whether these practices could potentially compromise safety.
While Blinken had the opportunity to speak at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Zurich, his speech took a turn toward blaming climate change and conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East for causing issues such as mass migration and food shortages. He expressed his concerns about shifting climate patterns, which he believes lead to competition for resources and heighten ethnic tensions. Blinken also cited Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s fields, granaries, and ports as disruptions to global markets, resulting in increased food prices. He assured his audience that the United States is committed to tackling the food crisis and supporting those who are most affected by it.
Overall, Blinken’s unexpected predicament in Zurich highlighted not only the airline industry’s ongoing safety concerns but also the broader issues surrounding climate change and geopolitical conflicts that have far-reaching consequences.