Last year, the plane was parked at a California hangar, with AMLO in negotiations to secure a buyer. He failed to find one and, adding insult to injury, the plane accumulated about $1.5 million in maintenance fees. So AMLO and his people are now toying with various ideas to rid themselves of the plane, even if that means raffling it through the National Lottery.
AMLO says he would be willing to sell 6 million raffling tickets at $25 a pop just to see the plane gone, The Guardian reports. He would even throw in one or two years of free operating time, in case whoever won it didn’t have the financial resources to – you know – fly a private jet.
Other ideas being tossed around include trading the plane with the U.S. in exchange for ambulances and medical equipment, renting it out by the hour or selling it to a private consortium of businesses (about 11 of them) that would chip in to raise $130 million.
The problem with most of the ideas is that the plane is fitted to carry a President and an entourage. It can only seat 80 people, and has a presidential suite and bathroom. Reconverting it to commercial, to sit 300, would be too expensive – and it’s clearly not an expense AMLO is willing to make when he’s already paying for something he does not want or use. Because, believe it or not, the President of Mexico flies only commercial, in keeping with his approach to political life and his campaign promises.
According to AMLO, Nieto would spend a fortune on each flight he made with the presidential jet, including $13,000 on Carolina Herrera perfumes for men, $12,000 on toilet paper and $3,000 on hair gel. He may get some credit for wanting his peeps to always look and smell good, but this kind of expenditure is shameless in a country where half of the population lives in poverty.