When Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was on the campaign trail, he promised to sell the Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner his predecessor Enrique Peña Nieto used for traveling. In a bid to live more modestly, Lopez Obrador is now unloading the aircraft, which cost more than $200 million to build.
Earlier this week, the 787-8 was moved to a facility in California where it will stay until it’s sold, Finance Minister Carlos Urzua and Banobras development bank director Jorge Mendoza told reporters in Mexico City, reports Bloomberg.
The aircraft is reportedly more opulent than Air Force One, which carries the president of the United States around the world, and is “too lavish” for Lopez Obrador. He gave reporters an inside look at the plane over the weekend, revealing the aircraft’s luxurious seating, dark paneling, and fancy living areas.
When the plane was initially delivered in 2016, it was considered the most modern and efficient aircraft connected to a world leader. There are other Dreamliners on the market that are comparable. China’s HNA Group Co. has a fleet of private jets, including a 787 that costs $70,000 an hour to rent.
The Dreamliner, which is named Jose Maria Morelos after a prominent early 19th century figure, is being sold for an undisclosed price. The finance minister noted that the government is also selling 60 planes and 70 helicopters, according to Bloomberg.
Lopez Obrador, who was inaugurated on Dec. 1, also showed the public his presidential residence in Mexico City. Fourteen leaders have resided at the Los Pinos compound since 1934, including former President Enrique Peña Nieto. Lopez Obrador plans on living more frugally than past leaders.
Trudeau’s VIP Aircraft Is Aging
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau uses Can Force One, an aging Airbus 310-300, to fly around the world. Earlier this year, the 31-year-old plane experienced a mechanical malfunction during a trip to India. The Airbus has experienced other mechanical problems in the past.
The government is determining whether or not to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of five CC-150 Polaris military transport planes, which will cost between $500 million and $1.5 billion. A 2013 report determined the fleet has a retirement date of about 2026.
Can Force One is also known as the “Taj Mahal.” In 1992, then Liberal leader Jean Chretien gave the plane the name because he was critical of the $56 million aircraft, which needed $3 million in renovation to add a private compartment with a dining room, entertainment area, fold-out beds, and a shower, according to CBC. After he was elected prime minister, Chretien elected not to use the plane. Eventually, the VIP cabin was downgraded with fewer perks and became what it is today (with no Wi-Fi, and limited inflight communication, for example).
Can Force One requires multiple refueling stops and has a limited flying range. It was last renovated in 2013 when it received a fresh coat of paint and ashtrays were removed from the seats.