The presidential airplane, on sale for more than three years, will be offered for weddings and 15th-birthday party charters after the government failed to find a buyer, President López Obrador announced on Monday.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be managed by the Defense Ministry’s company, Olmeca-Maya-Mexica, which operates Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA). The airplane will also be exhibited at the AIFA for public viewing.
“The plane is going to be handed over to the Olmeca-Maya-Mexica company … so they can rent it and prevent it from remaining grounded. The rentals can generate some income to pay for the plane’s expenses and maintenance,” the president said at his regular morning press conference.
Comparable charter aircraft are available for US $30,950 per hour, according to airplane rental site Paramount Business Jets.
The president specified that the airplane would be available for charter “if anyone wants it. If they’re going to get married and … want to take their family and friends,” before adding 15th-birthday parties and work events to the list of worthy celebrations.
However, López Obrador said that the jet shouldn’t be used for long distance flights, suggesting Cancún, Quintana Roo, to Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, as one possible route and confirmed the airplane was still available for a buyer who meets the valuation.
As has become customary in discussion of the presidential jet, the president advertised its luxurious features and lamented the wastefulness of his predecessors. The plane was bought by former president Felipe Calderón for US $218 million and used by his successor, and has been on the market for three years.
But in order to make the charter offer sound more appealing, the president compared it to space travel. “It’s an experience. There are people paying to go to space and they pay a lot, so they are going to have the plane available too,” he added.
The Boeing Dreamliner has experienced something of an identity crisis since the administration began in 2018. It was set to be the prize in a raffle before the government realized it wouldn’t be an entirely practical prize for most Mexicans and was later offered to the Mexican Olympic Committee (COM) to transport athletes for the Tokyo Olympics in July, only to be turned down by the head of COM as it was ill-suited to the task.
With reports from Milenio