Enrique Peña Nieto To Become First President In World With Presidential Plane Valued At $580M

Airplane
Enrique Peña Nieto is purchasing a $580 million dollar jet. Creative Commons

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is reportedly planning on releasing a private jet this June which is valued at roughly $580 million dollars. This would make it the most expensive plane of its kind, more costly than planes belonging to presidents of the United States, China, Russia or Germany. It is indeed a flying palace: the Boeing jet has twin aisles and can carry up to 250 passengers at a speed of nearly a thousand miles per hour and is capable of making the New York-Athens or Tokyo-Los Angeles routes without stop-overs.

Mexicans have expressed their extraordinary outrage and indignation at the extravagant purchase. What few realize, however, is that the process of purchasing the plane was initiated by Mexico's previous president, Felipe Calderon. All told, it will cost tax payers over 7.5 billion pesos, plus another billion pesos for the Presidential Hangar in the Mexico City airport.  As Proceso points out, this amount could be used to build at least eight hospitals such as the new hosptial the president opened on April 22 in Hermosillo, Sonora. 

The plan to buy the new presidential plane emerged at the end of the Calderon presidency, however, the purchase has been well hidden from the Mexican population and with good reason: the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is an incredible expense as it's costs have soared beyond budget: the final cost will be 350 % higher than the expected cost for the jet, a cost shared between Calderon and Peña Nieto. The delivery of the aircraft, which has a lifespan of only 25 years, is scheduled for the 30th of this month at Boeing facilities in Washington.

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Oscar Lopez is a Brooklyn-based writer. Originally from Mexico, Oscar moved with his family to Australia in 2000. Graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2011 with a BA (Honors) Oscar was awarded the Keith Macartney Scholarship for the Arts, the Louise Homfrey Award and the Hannah Barry Memorial Award. As well as reporting for Latin Times, Oscar's writng has been featured in Newsweek, New York Magazine (nymag.com) and Musee Magazine.