World, Americas

Mexico cannot seem to sell government plane

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promised to rid country of $130M plane, but proving harder than expected

Sierra Juarez, Corey Blackman   | 15.01.2020
Mexico cannot seem to sell government plane Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ( FILE PHOTO - Anadolu Agency )

Queretaro, Mexico

The Mexican government has been trying to sell a federally owned $130 million plane for over a year without success. 

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced the plane will soon return to the country. It has been waiting for purchase in the U.S. state of California, where the Mexican government has to pay rent and maintenance.

The plane belongs to the previous administration of Enrique Pena Nieto, can carry 80 people and has a master bedroom.

From the beginning of his term, Lopez Obrador, who campaigned on making the government more honest and cautious about spending money, refused to use the plane. Instead opting to take commercial airlines.

The president promised to use money from its sale toward funding social programs. But selling the plane is turning out to be harder than expected.

The government is eager to get rid of the plane not only because of Lopez Obrador’s campaign promise but also because the plane’s maintenance is expensive -- $1.5 million since it has been in California.

Although there were potential buyers, none of the bids were successful.

The president said in a press conference Tuesday he offered the United States and U.S. President Donald Trump the plane in exchange for goods, instead of money.

“If we are making arrangements with the United States … we deliver the plane and they pay in kind. We need ambulances, X-Ray equipment, tomographs,” said Lopez Obrador. 

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