(Bloomberg) -- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is fulfilling a campaign promise by selling the Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner that’s transported his predecessor since 2016.
The 787-8 aircraft is headed Monday to a facility in California where Boeing can help maintain the presidential jet until a buyer is found, Finance Minister Carlos Urzua and Banobras development bank director Jorge Mendoza said in a message to reporters in Mexico City.
Lopez Obrador has criticized the plane, which cost more than $200 million, as ostentatious -- more luxurious than Air Force One, which flies U.S. presidents around the world, and too lavish for the leader of Mexico. Lopez Obrador threw open the plane to the media over the weekend, giving Mexicans an inside view of its plush seats, dark paneling and swanky living quarters.
Reports at the time of the aircraft’s delivery in 2016 suggested that it would be the most modern and efficient of any world leader. It’s not the only tricked-out Dreamliner on the market. China’s HNA Group Co. is in talks to sell a fleet of private jets, including a 787 that’s available to rent from $70,000 an hour, Bloomberg News reported in October.
Urzua and Mendoza didn’t say how much money the country is seeking for the jet, which is named Jose Maria Morelos, a hero of Mexico’s early 19th century struggle for independence from Spain. The finance minister, speaking Sunday in front of the 787 at the presidential hangar in Mexico City’s airport, said the government will also sell an additional 60 planes and 70 helicopters.
Coinciding with his inauguration Dec. 1, Lopez Obrador also opened the doors of the presidential residence to the public. The Los Pinos compound in Mexico City has served as official home to 14 Mexican presidents since 1934, including the new leader’s predecessor, Enrique Pena Nieto. Lopez Obrador intends to maintain a more modest household.
The current U.S. Air Force One -- there actually are two planes -- are Boeing VC-25As, which are customized versions of Boeing 747-200B aircraft. The Chicago-based planemaker and President Donald Trump reached a $3.9 billion deal this year for a replacement program.
Much of the costs for the U.S. presidential plane come from pricey and complex modifications required to turn Boeing’s iconic hump-backed jumbo jets into flying fortresses with a complex communications system, self-defense capabilities and other features.
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