(Q24N) Friday morning, as a maintenance and training measure, the presidential plane TP-01, operated by the Mexican Air Force (FAM), made a roundtrip flight from Mexico City to Guadalajara, Jalisco, without landing.
Official sources indicated that this practice is in order that “the engines are not damaged due to lack of use”.
Last Monday, August 24, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) got on the presidential plane, a specially-outfitted Boeing 787 Dreamliner was purchased in 2012, for the first time since he assumed office on December 1, 2018, where he recorded a video promoting the raffle of the aircraft, which will be held on September 15.
AMLO has described the plane as a symbol of government excess, frequently using commercial flights to travel across Mexico. In a video that he uploaded to his Twitter account, and while touring different areas of the aircraft, the President stated that “with so much poverty” in his country, the “José María Morelos andPavón” (the name of the aircraft) was an insult.
“We are going to raffle this plane on September 15 (Mexico’s Independence Day) and what is obtained will be used to buy medical equipment and serve the people. Buy your raffle piece, let’s make history,” says the president in the video.
Compra tu cachito. Hagamos historia. pic.twitter.com/XmMrKEfLVl
— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) August 24, 2020
Jorge Mendoza Sánchez, general director of Banobras, reported that one of the two interested buyers put down a million-dollars as a deposit for an eventual purchase.
“There is an advance with one of the bidders in terms and conditions of purchase and sale, a deposit of one million dollars was already received last Monday; Likewise, last week we received a second offer for another interested party, which is being analyzed at the moment,” he said.
So, why the raffle? What would ordinary Mexicans who win the raffle do with such an aircraft, you ask?
Well AMLO has a plan. He will give 100 raffle winners each 2,000,000 pesos (US$919,000 dollars) from the government’s expected US$160 million dollars in ticket sales.
Raffle tickets will cost about 500 pesos (US$23).