Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's quixotic bid to sell off the presidential jet has now stretched into its third year, with no sign of a buyer in sight.
López Obrador has tried to lure corporations and business executives, and even pledged to raffle off the Boeing 787 jet, but with no takers.
Experts say it would be costly to reconfigure into a typical passenger jet that would carry up to 300 passengers. Photo: AP
Ever since he took office on December 1, 2018, the president has vowed to sell off the plane because it is too luxurious. López Obrador prides himself on his austerity, flies commercial flights and has made only one trip abroad.
But on Wednesday he acknowledged the jet is hard to sell because it is too specialised and made-to-order.
Video: Mexico struggles to sell its presidential plane
While in the past, the president has talked glowingly of getting offers for the plane, on Wednesday he said "we have not been able to sell it," because "they made it on special order."
The plane has been difficult to sell because it is configured to carry only 80 people and has a full presidential suite with a private bath. Photo: AP
The plane was purchased for $US200 million ($A251 million) and was used by the previous president, Enrique Peña Nieto. It has been difficult to sell because it is configured to carry only 80 people and has a full presidential suite with a private bath. Experts say it would be costly to reconfigure into a typical passenger jet that would carry up to 300 passengers.
López Obrador said last year that the government has received a $120 million offer in cash and medical equipment for the plane. He did not explain what happened to that offer.
The world's most famous presidential plane, the US president's Air Force One, has also recently been in the news as the US government prepares to replace the ageing pair of Boeing 747 jumbo jets first used by President H. W. Bush in the early '90s ("Air Force One" is actually a callsign for any plane carrying the president).
Former president Donald Trump complained about the high cost of replacing the planes in 2016, threatening to cancel the order. Boeing sought to save costs by offering two new 747-8s that had originally been built for a Russian airline that collapsed in 2015. Though US Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in 2017 that they "got a great deal" on the planes, the replacement program is still expected to cost more than $US5 billion.