AMLO Offers to Swap Presidential Plane for US Firefighting Aircraft

Mexico’s unused and rapidly decomposing presidential plane. Photo: Google


He has tried to sell it, raffle it off and even give it away to the Mexican military (Sedena) to be used as part of their fledgling commercial airlines fleet, but no matter how he tries, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) just can’t seem to rid himself of the white elephant presidential plane he inherited from the previous administration.

But undaunted by these failures, López Obrador on Monday, Feb. 13, came up with yet another idea to get rid of the albatross airplane: trade it to U.S. President Joe Biden in exchange for firefighting aircraft.

During his press conference on Monday, López Obrador said that he has offered the presidential plane TP-01 Boeing 787-8 José María Morelos y Pavón to Biden in exchange for helicopters and cargo planes to fight fires.

In his daily morning press conference, AMLO raved about the hand-me-down and inoperative plane (it has essentially received zero maintenance since the start of AMLO’s term in December 2018), noting that “not even (Barack) Obama had such a nice plane.

López Obrador added that his government has not been able to sell it “because it is so luxurious.”

“I told Biden that we were sending him the plane and that he should send us cargo planes and helicopters to put out fires in exchange,” AMLO said.

“He told me that he was going to see if there was any possibility (of making the trade.”

As of late Tuesday, Feb. 14, there had been no response from Washington as to López Obrador’s offer.

AMLO also said that the plane is “in perfect condition” despite the fact that it has not been maintained or used for more than four years.

Mexico’s presidential plane José María Morelos y Pavón was purchased by former President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa for $218 million and was delivered in 2016 during the six-year term of his successor, President Enrique Peña Nieto.

AMLO, who claims to live an austere lifestyle (although those of his offspring have been anything but austere), has repeatedly claimed that his government cannot use the plane because it is too extravagant. Instead, he and his administration use commercial airlines, even though in some cases this has been shown to be more costly than using the presidential plane.

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