MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday his predecessor’s luxury jet will be rented out privately for special occasions like weddings and birthdays after his government tried and failed to sell it over the past three years.
“The plane is being handed over so it can be rented, so it’s being used, so it’s flying and can generate an income,” Lopez Obrador said at a regular morning news conference.
Making the plane available for people to use on occasions such as weddings, birthday parties or when companies want to reward employees for good performance by taking them to the beach, would help to pay the costs of its upkeep, he said.
Lopez Obrador said the plane would be transferred to “Olmeca Maya Mexica”, the company in charge of operating various airports and his so-called Mayan Train, a railway line he is building to connect tourist resorts on the Yucatan peninsula.
Under the arrangement, the plane would be kept in a new Mexico City airport in Santa Lucia north of the capital which the government inaugurated last week, the president said. Officials would not be allowed to use the jet, he underlined.
Putting a $130 million price tag on it, Lopez Obrador held up the Boeing 787 Dreamliner of his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto as a symbol of political corruption and extravagance.
But he did not find a buyer willing to pay the full price. In September 2020 he held a symbolic raffle of the plane, selling over $100 million worth of tickets.
(Reporting by Dave Graham; editing by Grant McCool)