Mexico is now targeting Canada as a likely customer for a presidential jetliner that’s become a political football in that country. The Boeing Business Jet 787-8 is being sold off by the Mexican government for $130 million, about half the new price, because it’s regarded as a symbol of government excess in that country. The Mexicans, who have been trying to unload the aircraft for more than a year, heard about the issues with the Airbus A310 used to carry Prime Minister Justin Trudeau late last year and made a sales call to Ottawa. There has been no response from the Canadian government.
Mexico’s current government came to power in 2018 with the new President Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowing to never fly on the luxurious Dreamliner, which was ordered by his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto in 2012 and delivered in 2016. Obrador flies commercially. The Dreamliner is configured for 80 passengers and includes a private bedroom and bathroom for the president. Mexico’s sales pitch has been that it’s a much more reliable and capable aircraft than the 40-year-old Airbus Canada currently uses but the political price might be too high for the Liberal minority government, which occasionally takes heat for Trudeau’s travel accommodations. The previous Mexican president apparently wasn’t shy about traveling in style, however. He used the plane 218 times in his last 30 months in office.