White House Reaches Informal Deal with Boeing for Air Force One

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
The Boeing 747-8 seen with the Lufthansa logo. Lufthansa is this model’s largest operator. (Kiefer, Germany)

U.S. President Donald Trump has reached an agreement with the Boeing Co. to provide two Air Force One planes for $3.9 billion, the White House said on Tuesday.

“President Trump has reached an informal deal with Boeing on a fixed-price contract for the new Air Force One program,” Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told Reuters. He said the contract will save taxpayers more than $1.4 billion, but those savings could not be independently confirmed.

President Trump has said that Boeing’s costs to build replacements for Air Force One aircraft – one of the most visible symbols of the U.S. presidency – are too high and urged the federal government in a tweet to “Cancel order!”

The Boeing 747-8s are designed to be an airborne White House able to fly in worst-case security scenarios, such as nuclear war, and are modified with military avionics, advanced communications and a self-defense system.

“President Trump negotiated a good deal on behalf of the American people,” Boeing said in a press statement.

The big U.S. defense contractor said the deal includes work to develop and build two planes, including unique items such as a communications package, internal and external stairs, large galleys and other equipment.