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Mexico to rent out unwanted presidential jet for parties

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday that his government would offer to rent out a luxury presidential jet for birthday and wedding parties after failing to find a buyer.

Lopez Obrador, an austerity advocate who uses commercial flights, has been vowing to sell the Boeing 787 Dreamliner since his 2018 election campaign, calling it an “insult” to the people.

The plane will be handed over to a military-run company in charge of a new airport that opened last week outside Mexico City and other major infrastructure projects, the president told reporters.

It will be rented out to generate income to cover its expenses and maintenance costs, he said.

The jet will be available if someone “is getting married and is going to take their family and friends” by air, as well as for birthdays and company trips, Lopez Obrador said.

The plane was purchased for about USD218 million during former president Felipe Calderon’s 2006-2012 term in office, but the only one who used it was his successor Enrique Pena Nieto.

Lopez Obrador was unable to find a buyer for such a massive jet, which is customised with an executive bedroom, private bath and seating for 80 people.

In September 2020, his government held a symbolic raffle aimed at raising funds roughly equivalent to the plane’s value.

A soldier stands guard inside the former Mexican presidential plane. PHOTO: AP