Mexico’s president-elect vows not to use private jet despite flight delay

Lpez Obrador, delayed by a commercial flight, says he will not use a luxurious plane

Mexico’s leftist president-elect has pledged to stick to his plan to get rid of the country’s presidential plane – despite finding himself stuck on the tarmac for three hours waiting for a commercial flight to take off.

In video footage posted online from onboard the delayed flight from Huatulco to Mexico City, Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he would “die of shame” if he used “a luxurious plane in a country where there is so much poverty”.

“I’m not going to change my mind because of this,” he said of the delay, which was caused by heavy rain. “Any politician who acts arrogantly won’t last.”

López Obrador was using the low-cost airline VivaAerobús. He and other passengers spent three hours on the plane and were then moved back to the terminal to wait for a further hour before they could fly.

The 64-year-old, often known by his initials Amlo, convincingly won Mexico’s presidential election in July. He will take office for a six-year term in December.

On the campaign trail he pledged to sell the presidential plane and convert the presidential palace into an arts centre. He has also vowed to tackle corruption and apply austerity measures to the running of government.

The outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, currently has the use of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which went into service two years ago after being ordered in 2012 by the then president, Felipe Calderón.

The aircraft cost $218m and was named after José María Morelos y Pavón, one of the leaders in the Mexican war of independence in the early 1800s. López Obrador has previously criticised the plane’s luxurious fittings, saying “not even Donald Trump has one like it”.

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