Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador commented in his morning press conference that he offered the Boeing 787 TP-01 to the government of Argentina, but that the latter rejected it because its value was much higher than the budget available for the renewal of its presidential aircraft.
López Obrador indicated that he offered Argentina the controversial Mexican presidential aircraft because the Boeing 757 T-01 had already reached the end of its useful life. “We sent them to say, ‘there it is, take our plane.’ Besides, it’s a friendly government,” he added.
The value AMLO assigns to the Boeing 787 “José María Morelos y Pavón” is 110 million dollars and in the conference, he implied that the budget Argentina has available for the renewal of the presidential plane is only 30 million. “We still do not rule out that they could give us the 30 million and pay the rest in installments,” he said.
López Obrador made the sale of his predecessor’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner a cornerstone of his campaign for a more austere government. He called the purchase of the Dreamliner a bad deal from a “pharaonic” era, and while he tried several times to divest himself of the plane, he has so far had no luck.
Last year the Mexican government organized a raffle that had the plane as first prize: however, the technical difficulty involved in giving a plane to a citizen caused the plane to be kept as a symbol and the Mexican state to offer the plane equivalence in cash: 100 prizes of 20 million pesos ($950,000) each.
So, the mexican government did not get rid of the plane, which maintenance costs rise to 1.2 million dollars a year, and was forced to disburse the equivalent to another 787 to cover the raffle prizes.
One of these prizes was won by a school in Chiapas with the number 4344899, but the fortune of winning quickly turned into a nightmare, because an armed group in the region demanded that they use the money to buy weapons. When they refused, they were forced to leave their homes for fear of reprisals.
Previously, López Obrador had offered the plane to Aeroméxico: after a meeting with executives of the Mexican operator and Delta, the president commented “I took the opportunity to offer them the plane: that Aeroméxico manages it and that they can use it for executive trips or parties”. Although he said that the companies “were thinking about it”, the idea did not materialize.
Currently, the plane is being managed by the military company OMM (Olmeca, Maya, Mexica), to rent the TP-01 for long trips for weddings, 15th birthdays or other events.