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White House reaches informal deal with Boeing for Air Force One

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – 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.

Trump has said 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.

Reporting by Jim Oliphant and Mike Stone; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alistair Bell

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