Mexico has finally sold its presidential Boeing 787 private jet, which it purchased for $218 million back in 2012.
The plane will now be repainted in California before being delivered to Tajikistan in Central Asia.
The “ostentatious” Dreamliner was sold because the current Mexican president refused to use it, claiming it was a waste of money and funds.
Back in mid-April, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the nation’s VIP Boeing 787 private jet had been sold to Tajikistan for $92 million.
The Dreamliner started its journey to Central Asia nation on Friday, first flying to Tuscon, Arizona, for customer repairs, per the Mexican government.
The jet will then travel to California for a new paint job.
According to Lopez Obrador, the price tag reflected the jet’s depreciation. He went on to say that the money will be used to build two new hospitals in the Mexican cites of Tlapa and Tuxtepec.
“Wow, it was difficult for us to find a client,” he said. “We are like the nouveau riche, who buy a yacht or an airplane like this, and are only happy the day they launch it and the day they sell it.”
The amazing presidential jet was purchased by former president Felipe Calderon as a replacement to the country’s aging VIP Boeing 757.
However it wasn’t delivered until 2016, after he left office. It fell into the lap of his successor Enrique Pena Nieto, who was president before Lopez Obrador.
The 80-seater plane — which is actually one of six 787 test aircraft built by Boeing — was equipped with a presidential suite, complete with a private office, shower, meeting room, king-sized bed, and treadmill…
It also features conference tables and large reclining seats each with an inflight entertainment system according to the Mexican government.
The current President of Mexico says the lavish decor is an “insult” to Mexico people.
“Not even Obama has a plane like this one.”
Lopez Obrador flies commercial instead to save his people money.
Moreover, he criticized his predecessor Peña Nieto for spending $19 million on travel from 2012 to 2015 — López Obrador only spent $1 million from 2018-2021, Forbes Mexico reported.
“Imagine, there are no longer private planes, private helicopters,” he said in 2019. “I was not going to get on the presidential plane, a very luxurious plane with so much poverty in our town.”
After the rejection, the president saw the odds of selling the 787 as minuscule — especially since converting it into a 300-seat passenger plane would be too costly for airlines.
So, López Obrador decided to rent out the Dreamliner for private events, like weddings, quinceañeras, and parties. Anyone could reserve the plane and the revenue would help with maintenance costs.
“I offered it to President Trump,” López Obrador said in April. “I offered it to President Biden, we offered it to Vice-President Kamala Harris – she just laughed when I explained what the aircraft was like.”
Many say he is just politically posturing and trying to win the will of the people. Are they right? However, some experts say the move was just for political gain: “What matters to him is to say ‘look at the luxuries and privileges of the past and instead I’m austere’,” analyst and historian Jose Antonio Crespo told AFP in 2020.
Thanks to our friends at Newsbreak for contributing to this article.
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