Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador introduced Friday the most recent in a sequence of determined concepts to dump his predecessor’s official jet, which he says is just too luxurious for a rustic the place half the folks reside in poverty.
López Obrador stated he’s contemplating raffling off the aircraft by promoting six million raffle tickets at $25 US apiece.
He supplied to throw in a yr’s free working time in case the winner of the lottery-style scheme does not have the cash to function the jet.
López Obrador has floated 4 different concepts for promoting the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, after the $130 million jet didn’t discover a purchaser after a yr on sale at a U.S. airstrip, the place it piled up about $1.5 million in upkeep prices.
He hasn’t stated but whether or not he is contemplating a yard sale, however instructed that no concept has been dominated out.
“Assist me,” he pleaded with reporters at his morning information convention, clearly floundering for tactics to do away with the aircraft. He stated he has met with businessmen, searching for concepts of how one can do away with the white elephant.
The jet is dear to run and now configured to hold solely 80 folks, albeit with a full presidential suite with a bed room and personal bathtub; consultants say it could be too costly to reconfigure again right into a business airliner that usually carries as many as 300 passengers.
AMLO, as he’s familiarly identified in Mexico, has instructed bartering the aircraft in trade for U.S. medical gear, or promoting it in shares to a bunch of businessmen for govt incentive packages. He has additionally supplied to lease it out by the hour, in hopes of paying off the rest of excellent loans on the aircraft.
The austerity-minded president has vowed by no means to step foot on the jet his predecessor purchased. He flies what is named vacationer class, together with lining as much as test in and for safety functions.
Whereas campaigning, López Obrador launched into a global tour to bolster his overseas coverage bona fides within the election, however in his first yr in workplace he skipped each the G20 summit in Japan and the United Nations Basic Meeting in New York and has not visited the White Home. His conferences with Latin American leaders have all taken place in Mexico.
López Obrador has travelled extensively by air inside Mexico, nonetheless.
Air journey additionally figured in one among López Obrador’s first important strikes in workplace, as he cancelled a Mexico Metropolis airport undertaking on which at the very least $2 billion had already been spent.
He argued that his various plan to increase a navy airbase farther from Mexico Metropolis for civilian use would finally show to be $5 billion cheaper than ending the began undertaking, however the choice was typically unpopular and led to a sell-off in Mexican belongings on world markets.