Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump today. With nonstop flights cancelled and López Obrador refusing to fly on a private jet, he flew Delta instead…in economy class.
Why Would The Mexican President Fly Commercial Economy Class?
López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, styles himself as a populist. The former Mayor of Mexico City has shunned private jets and other luxuries of what he derisively calls the “neoliberal elite.”
Live and Let’s Fly has covered before the problem of Mexico’s abandoned presidential transport aircraft, a Boeing 787-8 still sitting in the California desert. López Obrador refuses to fly it and one of his first acts as president was to try to sell it.
> Read More: The Luxurious Boeing 787-8 Mexico Can’t Sell
Thus, it comes as not surprise that AMLO was seen flying Delta and in economy class. Why not nonstop? Because United is not running its nonstop service between Mexico City and Washington Dulles right now. With only connecting options available, he flew via Atlanta on Delta. At least López Obrador took a carrier that guarantees and open middle seat. He did end up in a non-reclining row on the Mexico City to Atlanta sector…
📹 Isabella González pic.twitter.com/aGZIMpwFyk
— REFORMA (@Reforma) July 7, 2020
Kudos To Mexican President For Flying In Economy Class
As I mentioned back in January:
I respect politicians and royals who fly commercial and especially who fly coach.
Although symbolic, flying economy class represents humility and fiscal responsibility. Now the entire charade of flying commercial when a perfectly serviceable 787 sits idle in the desert is worthy of discussion (no one is allegedly buying the aircraft since it will take too much money to re-configure), but that doesn’t change the fact that I like the optics of politicians in economy class.
López Obrador and Trump will discuss trade today. While discussion will be centered on the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade agreement, aviation and travel will likely also be discussed. Though very different figures on the ideological spectrum, both López Obrador and Trump wish to re-open their respective economies as rapidly as possible.
(H/T: View from the Wing)