Mexico is considering a lottery to get rid of the nation's presidential jet, after a year of failed attempts to sell the aircraft. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said this week that Mexico is flying back the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has been stored in a California hangar since December 2018, just after he took office, to resume sale efforts.
Under the plan, the country would sell six million raffle tickets at 500 pesos each, some US$ 30. Lopez Obrador has said the plane is a poor use of resources in a country where many live in poverty.
There were two buyers from the US One of them offered US$125 million, but we can't sell it below the valuation from the United Nations, he said during this morning conference at Mexico City's National Palace.
That bid fell 4% short of the aircraft's estimated value. The UN, commissioned by the Mexican government to appraise the presidential plane, put a US$130 million tag on the aircraft, considerably below the price paid for it two administrations ago.
Lopez Obrador has also talked with the country's richest man, Carlos Slim, about what to do with the plane. He called upon the business community to help him repair the damage of buying the plane in the first place.
He is offering to sell shares of the aircraft to a group of twelve Mexican companies, each worth US$11 million dollars, but he said it would be a tough sell. He is entertaining other options such as renting it by the hour or exchanging it for medical equipment from the US government.
If the president decides on a raffle, he said he would throw in the cost of maintenance for up to two years in case the winner does not have the funds for upkeep.
Not even the wealthiest, most extravagant people have these kinds of planes, Lopez Obrador said. Not even Barack Obama, with all due respect to the former president.