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Honolulu (AFP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was forced to go commercial for the nine-hour flight between Hawaii and Washington after his Air Force jet suffered a malfunction.

Kerry, along with many staff members and reporters, including AFP, who had accompanied the top U.S. diplomat on his week-long world tour, on Thursday ended up boarding a United Airlines flight from Honolulu.

Kerry’s regular plane, a Boeing 757 that has carried him across more than 515,000 miles to 51 countries over the last year and a half, suffered an “electrical problem” on the ground at a U.S. air base near Honolulu.

“Finally, some frequent-flier miles,” Kerry joked as he awaited the new flight.

He was returning home from a global tour through Afghanistan, Australia, Myanmar, and the Solomon Islands as part of the U.S. administration’s “rebalance” to Asia.

AFP Photo/Rob Griffith

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