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See Inside Mexico’s Presidential Boeing Jet Rented Out for Parties, Weddings

López Obrador explained he thinks the jet, which was bought and used by former president Enrique Peña Nieto, is too luxurious and refuses to use it, saying “not even Obama has a plane like this one.”

Barack and Michelle Obama wave from Air Force One.

Barack and Michelle Obama wave from Air Force One.

Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press


Source: Associated Press, CNN

Instead, he said he prides himself on his austerity and prefers to fly commercial.

President López Obrador on a commercial flight.

President López Obrador on a commercial flight.

Marco Ugarte/Associated Press


Source: Associated Press

In the past, the president has also said he sees the plane as an “insult to the people” and “an example of the excesses” of the nation’s former leaders, the New York Times reported.

Mexico's presidential jet.


Marco Ugarte/Associated Press


Source: New York Times

So, the Boeing 787 plane, which was originally purchased for $218 million, was put up for sale in 2018. However, there have been no takers for the unwanted jet.

Mexico's presidential jet.


Marco Ugarte/Associated Press


Source: Associated Press

López Obrador believes it is hard to sell because of its unique, made-to-order design, which only carries 80 people and has a full presidential suite complete with a private bathroom.

Mexico's presidential plan.


Marco Ugarte/Associated Press


Source: Associated Press

According to experts, converting the jet into a 300-person passenger airliner would be extremely costly, which may have put off potential buyers. In late 2018, Mexico was trying to sell it to Canada, but the deal never materialized.

Mexico's presidential plan.


Marco Ugarte/Associated Press


Source: Associated Press

In 2020, the president even proposed a raffle for the jet, but due to a law prohibiting the raffling of government assets, the lottery became “symbolic.”

Raffle tickets.

Raffle tickets, which say “equivalent to the value of the presidential jet.”

Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press


Source: New York Times, France24

Instead of raffling off the plane, Mexico sold tickets to raise money equivalent to the jet’s worth, France24 reported. The 100 winning ticket holders split two-thirds of the prize money, which totaled about $940,000 per person.

People queue up to buy lottery tickets for a Mexico luxury presidential plane for sale at a raffle ticket booth in Mexico City.

People queue up to buy lottery tickets for a Mexico luxury presidential plane for sale at a raffle ticket booth in Mexico City.

Reuters


Source: New York Times, France24

According to López Obrador, the other third of the funds went to public hospitals serving “poor people.” However, some analysts say the event was for political gain.

General Hospital in Queretaro, Mexico.

General Hospital in Queretaro, Mexico.

Marco Ugarte/Associated Press


Source: The Straits Times, France24

“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 the AFP.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announcing raffle.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announcing the raffle.

Associated Press


Source: yahoo, France24

Despite the controversy, Mexico sees the possibility of selling the jet as minuscule. So, the president has decided to rent the plane out for private events instead, like weddings and parties, to cover the aircraft’s expenses and maintenance upkeep.

Mexico's presidential jet.


Marco Ugarte/Associated Press


Source: Associated Press

The plane will be parked at Mexico City Felipe Angeles airport and be maintained by a military-led company, the president said. However, the government will still be open to offers.

Mexico's presidential jet.


Marco Ugarte/Associated Press


Source: Associated Press

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