When Nelson Mandela was Unable to Rent a Plane to Fly to Several US Cities, Trump Came to the Rescue
One of the last details to be arranged in the hastily orchestrated tour of the United States by Nelson Mandela was the line-up of the plane that would take him to the eight cities on his itinerary. The unlikely benefactor turned out to be none other than Donald Trump after feverish and failed negotiations with everyone from the U.S. government to private charter operators. Mandela and the approximately 80 people traveling with him arrived here on Sunday in a Trump Shuttle 727 and will take the same plane on the rest of the tour, which ends late this week in Los Angeles and Oakland. The Trump shuttle also took Mandela on Saturday from New York to Boston. Christine Dolan, who handled the trip’s logistics, said organizers, desperate to find an aircraft in time for Mandela’s arrival in the United States last Wednesday, contacted Trump to rent his private jet. He said it was being serviced and unavailable, but he offered to release a 727 from his shuttle fleet. But the generosity of Trump only goes so far: Organizers pay $130,000 to charter the aircraft, Dolan said. Trump and Mandela may seem like a strange pairing. The African National Congress of Mandela is aligned with the Communist Party in South Africa, and he said he would consider the nationalization of some industries as a way to redistribute wealth in South Africa after apartheid. “The Mandela Welcoming Committee is very thankful to Donald Trump,” Dolan said.