Mexico is facing an era of austerity and a flashpoint of that program is selling off the luxurious presidential jet, a Boeing 787-8. But no one wants to buy it.
As one if his first acts as Mexican President, Andres Manuel López Obrador ordered the 787 jet that his predecessor had purchased for presidential transport to be sold. But after a year of sitting in the California desert and failing to attract a buyer (and racking up $1.5MN in maintenance costs), it is coming back to Mexico.
The jet carries only 80 people and includes a lavish presidential suite with private bedroom and bath (pictures). Such an image does not fit in with López Obrador’s vision of austerity. Instead, he flies coach on commercial jets. Mexico is also attempting to sell 33 government-owned executive jets and smaller planes plus 39 helicopters.
But with no takers on the presidential Dreamliner, idealistic plans to use the money to fund anti-poverty programs are on hold. Now the government is entertaining leasing out the jet to businesses or rich individuals on a fractional ownership basis. Indeed, a brochure has already been printed that boasts of “incomparable VIP capacity” onboard and promises:
“You, you biggest producers, your elite sales team, your most prized associates can now enjoy a reserved flight experience until now only available to heads of state.”
The brochure also adds the aircraft will help with “brand exposure” and “attract investors or global personalities to your corporation with greater ease.”
Sounds a little desperate…
I respect politicians and royals who fly commercial and especially who fly coach. That said, the damage is done, the plane is delivered, and perhaps López Obrador should consider just using it as his predecessor did if no one wants to bur or lease it. In case you are wondering why it just doesn’t sell the plane to Aeromexico or another airline, it seems that re-configuring the aircraft would cost far too much money.
Interested in a VIP-configured 787-8?