Trump seeks to cancel Air Force One deal
Boeing relies on federal government for defense, space and security business which is worth $30 billion a year
US president-elect Donald Trump urged the government on Tuesday to cancel an order with Boeing for a revamped Air Force One — a prominent symbol of the presidency — complaining that costs were out of control.
It was the latest example of Trump using his podium, often via brief Twitter messages, to rattle companies and foreign countries as he seeks to shake up business as usual in Washington. Trump, who would take office on Jan 20, took aim at what he called cost overruns even though the plane is only in development stages.
“Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!” Trump said on Twitter. It was not immediately clear what prompted the timing of his complaint.
“The plane is totally out of control. I think it’s ridiculous. I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money,” he told reporters later.
Boeing, which has built planes for US presidents since 1943, has not yet begun building the two replacements for the current Air Force One planes, which are scheduled to be in service by 2024.
Boeing relies on the US military and other arms of the federal government for a significant share of its defense, space and security business which is worth $30 billion a year.
The US Air Force, which operates the presidential planes, first announced in January 2015 that Boeing’s 747-8 would be used to replace the two current presidential planes.
Airborne White House
The planes can fly direct from Washington to Hong Kong, 1,600 kilometers farther than the current Air Force One. They are designed to be an airborne White House able to fly in worst-case security scenarios, such as nuclear war.
The current Air Force plan envisions extensive modifications to a Boeing 747-8, including military avionics, advanced communications and a self-defense system, according to budget documents seen by Reuters.
Trump is known for his love of his own Boeing 757 jet. In a 2015 Rolling Stone profile, he said his plane was “bigger than Air Force One, which is a step down from this in every way”.
The plane is totally out of control. ... We want Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money.” Donald Trump, US president-elect Fireworks explode next to riot police on Tuesday in Athens, Greece, following an anniversary rally marking the 2008 police shooting of a 15-year-old student.