Mexico’s new presidential airplane was for several hours on the runway of a military airbase near this capital for its formal delivery, before returning to the United States to be fully equipped, the press reported Friday.
The aircraft, a Boeing-787 Dreamliner, landed at Santa Lucia airbase in the central state of Mexico, officials cited in the newspapers said.
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Mexico took formal delivery of the aircraft, after which it immediately took off for the United States, where it will be equipped and prepared for the use of President Enrique Peña Nieto starting in September 2015.
The airplane, ordered in the final year of Felipe Calderon presidency, costs over 6.77 billion pesos ($505 million) – more costly than planes belonging to presidents of the United States, China, Russia, or Germany. The 787 will have the capacity to carry more than 200 passengers and travels at a speed of nearly a thousand miles per hour. It is capable of making the New York-Athens or Tokyo-Los Angeles routes without stop-overs.
The current presidential plane, a TP-01 christened with the name of Benito Juarez (1806-1872), the first indigenous citizen to become president, was acquired in 1987 and has a private cabin, with 26 executive-class seats and a capacity for 66 passengers.