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Wednesday 16 January 2019

Donald Trump agrees Air Force One deal with Boeing

The US president tweeted that costs for the programme were ‘out of control’ in December 2016.

Donald Trump disembarks Air Force One (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Donald Trump disembarks Air Force One (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

By Zeke Miller and David Koenig, Associated Press

US President Donald Trump has reached an informal deal with Boeing to provide the next generation of presidential aircraft, the White House says.

Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said the president negotiated a 3.9 billion US dollar “fixed price contract” for the new planes, known as Air Force One when the president is on board.

It follows years of negotiations between Boeing and the US Air Force — and Mr Trump’s personal intervention since his election.

In December 2016, Mr Trump tweeted that costs for the programme were “out of control” at more than 4 billion dollars.

The White House now says the original cost estimate was actually over 5 billion dollars for the two planes and development programme.

Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg met multiple times with Mr Trump to discuss the Air Force One contract, most recently last week.

Mr Gidley said the agreement would save the taxpayers more than 1.4 billion dollars.

Boeing, in a statement, said it is “proud to build the next generation of Air Force One, providing American Presidents with a flying White House at outstanding value to taxpayers”.

“President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people,” they said.

The agreement includes the two 747-800 aircraft, and the cost of modifying the commercial planes with the equipment needed to support the president, including external stair, large galleys and a secure communications suite.

Press Association

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