- BBC News World
After more than four years on the market, Mexico’s luxurious and controversial presidential plane finally has an owner.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced this Thursday Tajikistan paid 1,658 million pesos (about US$92 million). For the airline, which was bought by former President Felipe Calderon and later launched by his successor, Enrique Peña Nieto.
Through a video recorded on the plane and a video posted on his Twitter account, AMLO assured that the amount was set “according to the current official estimate”. However, when purchased in 2012, The cost of the aircraft is 218 million US dollars.
According to the President, the money will go to the organization to return what was stolen to the people It will be used to build two hospitals 80 beds in the poorest areas of Mexico”.
Both facilities will be built by the Army Corps of Engineers in Tlaba, Guerrero state; and in Duxtepec, Oaxaca; And sworn in before the end of his term in October 2024, the President promised. There are officials from Asian countries Ten days to fly.
A few hours earlier, AMLO had already announced in his morning briefing that he could potentially buy the plane, which went on sale from December 2, 2018, a day after he became president.
“After a long time we were able to sell this aircraft“, the President admitted. “We are happy, we are like the nouveau riche who buy such a boat or an airplane, and we are only happy the day they open it and sell it.”
The sale of the “Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon” Boeing 787-8, which became one of AMLO’s election promises, later became a major headache for him.
He Luxury inside the plane (It’s marble finishes, bathrooms and presidential bedroom) were criticized by the president, who recognized it A wasted symbol of previous governments.
But, at the same time, this is one of the reasons why it was so difficult to find a buyer for such a customized model.
Although Stayed in a private hangar in the US for over a year For its sale, no plan has prospered.
In 2020, the aircraft returned to Mexico to avoid high maintenance costs abroad.
In September of the same year, AMLO decided to “raffle” the plane among the people through a symbolic raffle, because what was really at stake was money equal to the plane’s value at the time.
Income from AMLO declared Ticket purchases go towards purchasing medical equipment to hospitals. However, with a lower-than-expected sales rate, the government ended up buying more than a million tickets to distribute to medical centers.
At the end of 2022, the president announced that the aircraft will be delivered to the Ministry of Defense as part of the fleet of the new Mexicana de Aviación company. With its sale this Thursday, this wish will finally come true.
“We already took off this earring because what a We had a hard time finding a customer. But hey, there was,” he insisted. “We’re going to keep talking about this topic. We never used it, but I would have regretted it, and I really mean to use this plane.”
AMLO promised to provide more details in the coming days about how expensive its maintenance was and how effective it was.
Jorge Mendoza, director of the National Bank of Public Works and Services (PANOBRAS), explained in the same in-flight video. The sale will save 332 million pesos (US$18.4 million) the government owed its company as lease.
The resources, he said, would be returned to the exchequer to be used for health programmes.
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