The presidential aircraft was put on sale by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, near the end of his first day as president of Mexico.
The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner TP-01 “José María Morelos y Pavón” of the Fuerza Aèrea Mexicana, was put on sale by the new President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at the Benito Juárez International Airport in Mexico City, Mexico.
On Sunday, Dec. 2, Carlos Urzua, the new Minister of Finance, called a press conference in Mexico City during which, media representatives could observe the Presidential Boeing 787 not only from the outside but also from the inside, in order to get a glimpse at the VIP configuration: along with the official government seals, the aircraft interiors feature flat-screen monitors in executive meeting rooms, a presidential bedroom and what appeared to be a marble-clad bathroom.
“We are selling all the planes and helicopters that were used by corrupt politicians, the new President said at a rally in Xalapa, Veracruz, near the end of his first day as president of Mexico, France24 reported. Indeed, the sale of the TP-01 was one of the populist promises of Obrador during his campaign as a candidate and, later, as a president-elect.
The aircraft, considered to be “an offense to the people” and a national symbol “opulent and ridiculous,” was procured at the end of 2012 at an approximate cost of 370M USD. It will be sold (along with the rest of the 60 government airplanes and 70 helicopters), in agreement with Boeing: according to the reports, the aircraft will be sent to Victorville in Southern California, while waiting for a new owner, on Dec. 3.
Interestingly, the Mexican Government posted a sort-of auction on their FB page with photos and a text that roughly translates as follows: “It goes to California and is put on sale! Type of plane: Presidential, Type: Boeing 787 Dreamliner; Almost new; Very Luxurious.”
The story and destiny of the Mexican Dreamliner is somehow similar to the one of the Italian A340-500. The aircraft was leased by the Italian Government in 2015 from Etihad Airways (at the cost of about 150M Euro for 8 years, including 20M to reconfigure it) to replace the ageing A319CJ in service with the 31° Stormo (Wing) of the Italian Air Force based at Ciampino (whose task is to carry the Italian Prime Minister, the Head of State and other members of the Government in every place of the world with its specialized fleet of executive aircraft)
The “wide-body” arrived at Rome Fiumicino from Abu Dhabi on Feb. 1, 2016, flying as EY8569. It was given an overall white finish, Italian markings and the civilian “I-TALY” registration while Italian Air Force aircrews were qualified to fly it, but it was rarely used especially because of its high fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
Although it was nicknamed “Air Force Renzi” from the name of the PM Matteo Renzi, the only State Flight conducted by the A340-500 was the one of PM Paolo Gentiloni in U.S. and Canada, in 2017.
In Summer 2018, Italy’s new populist government announced the cancellation of the lease signed by the Renzi government. On Jul. 26, Labour Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Five Star movement, Luigi Di Maio, along with transport minister Danilo Toninelli, called a press conference and showed journalists the document ordering the cancellation of the lease.
“It’s the end of the old regime,” Di Maio announced, standing in front of the A340 inside a hangar at Rome Fiumicino airport. “This aircraft is a symbol of the arrogance of Renzi and all those who supported him. […] This means less waste of public money, less unnecessary expenses. The government that I chair wants to give immediate signs of change.”
The cancellation was finalized on Aug. 23 as announced by Italy’s Minister of Defense Elisabetta Trenta.