AIR FORCE BUYS LEFTOVER BOEINGS FOR AIR FORCE ONES
WASHINGTON» The Air Force, which has been looking for ways to lower the cost of new Air Force One planes, agreed Friday to buy two jumbo jets from Boeing that were ordered but never delivered to a now-defunct Russian airline.
Two people close to the matter confirmed earlier this week that the Air Force and Boeing were in talks about the two planes that were still in the company’s inventory. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn’t been publicly announced.
The contract details, including costs, were not provided on Friday. But President Donald Trump has complained about the high cost of new presidential planes, even threatening at one point to cancel the order.
“This award is a significant step towards ensuring an overall affordable program,” said Darlene Costello, the Air Force’s principal deputy assistant secretary for acquisition.
The list price for a Boeing 747-8 is $386.8 million, according to Boeing’s website. It was not clear whether that price would apply to planes that are sitting in Boeing’s inventory. Modifications to accommodate security, communications and other presidential requirements would have to be done, and would increase the final price.
The aircraft are expected to be in service in 2024.