Mexico bid to sell presidential jet stretches into 3rd year

International

FILE – In this July 27, 2020 file photo, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, center left, waves to the press as he arrives to give his daily, morning press conference in front of the former presidential plane at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City. López Obrador’s quixotic bid to sell off the presidential jet has now stretched into its third year in 2021, with no sign of a buyer in sight. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s quixotic bid to sell off the presidential jet has now stretched into its third year, with no sign of a buyer in sight.

López Obrador has tried to lure corporations and business executives, and even pledged to raffle off the Boeing 787 jet, but with no takers.

Ever since he took office on Dec. 1, 2018, the president has vowed to sell off the plane because it is too luxurious. López Obrador prides himself on his austerity, flies commercial flights and has made only one trip abroad.

But on Wednesday he acknowledged the jet is hard to sell because it is too specialized and made-to-order.

While in the past, the president has talked glowingly of getting offers for the plane, on Wednesday he said “we have not been able to sell it,” because “they made it on special order.”

The plane was purchased for $200 million and was used by the previous president, Enrique Peña Nieto. It has been difficult to sell because it is configured to carry only 80 people and has a full presidential suite with a private bath. Experts say it would be costly to reconfigure into a typical passenger jet that would carry up to 300 passengers.

López Obrador said last year that the government has received a $120 million offer in cash and medical equipment for the plane. He did not explain what happened to that offer.

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