Mexico's new leader to sell $368m presidential jet and fly commercial instead to help his country's poorer communities
The luxurious plane, a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with shower, beds, and granite bathroom countertops was reportedly purchased for $368 million in November 2012
Mexico's new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is set to sell the country's presidential jet as part of his austerity push, according to reports. The plane has been sent to San Bernardino, California to be reconditioned. Obrador has made it his campaign promise to sell the stately aircraft and has declared that he will fly coach in commercial planes instead.
The luxurious plane, a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with shower, beds, and granite bathroom countertops was reportedly purchased for $368 million in November 2012, right before former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto for a six-year term. His term ended on Saturday.
The country's new Finance Minister Carlos Urzua on Sunday announced that Mexico will also sell 60 smaller planes and 70 helicopters, which are being used by the federal government currently. The Dreamliner, which was delivered to the former president in 2016, was used to ferry him across the globe. The new president, before taking, office, however, had condemned the expensive aircraft and derided it as a towering symbol of excess.
#Mexico’s new president has decided to sell the presidential plane in exchange for coach seating on commercial airlines. Mexico GDP per Capital $9,000 #Zambia GDP per capita $1,500 #VivaMexico #newvision #Lusaka #MexicoCity pic.twitter.com/WSm4VgI2ol— Joseph Chilu Banda (@LusakaMr) December 3, 2018
President Obrador, while addressing a rally in Xalapa, Veracruz, had said: "We are selling all the planes and helicopters that the corrupt politicians used." The crowd had reportedly roared in approval. Obrador, at the rally, had also promised to end the pensions for former presidents and a pay cut for senior government officials. He had described these measures as significant money savers for the country.
The finance minister, on Sunday, had convened a press conference in Mexico City, announcing that the plane will be up for sale "very soon." Camera crews and photographers were then allowed inside the aircraft for them to see the spacious interior emblazoned with official government seals on the walls and flat-screen monitors. The plane also has a presidential bedroom and what appeared to be a marble-lined bathroom, the Daily Mail reported.
The veteran leftist, just before his formal inauguration on Saturday morning, had ordered the doors open at Los Pinos, the residence of Mexican presidents. Musical ensembles were invited to play at the venue as families lounged in the gardens and walked through the corridors to look inside offices and rooms. Obrador, who is known for his frugal living, also announced that he will not live at Los Pinos and will convert the property into a cultural center.