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Courtesy: Kashif Khusro / Midday

Mumbai, Jan 18: Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva did not have a pleasant arrival at Mumbai airport erarlier this week. Silva, who was coming in his private aircraft from Goa, was stranded for 20 minutes inside the cabin because the stepladder for alighting the aircraft was not working.

According to airport sources, the plane headed straight for the VIP parking bay.

“Security officials, members of the Portuguese embassy, airport staff were waiting for the president to come down for an official welcome. But all were kept waiting because the ladder would simply not work,” said an airport official.

It was later found the ladder was not oiled well and hence caused the malfunction. It is owned by Cambata Aviation and works on a pulley system.  

“Had it been any of our Indian politicians, there would have been a huge tantrum and some of the airport officials would have been fired. But Silva laughed it off and walked away coolly towards his car,” the official continued.

Silva, who is on a seven-day official visit to India,  arrived on January 10 and has already signed an extradition treaty. He will now go to Bangalore, said sources.

The Portuguese embassy was unavailable for comment. A Cambata official said there was some minor problem with the ladder, but it was sorted  out soon.


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