U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said in a tweet that the new Boeing 747 jet that’s being built to carry “future presidents” already costs more than $4 billion, and that he wants to cancel the order.
“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 told reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday that he thought the Air Force One program was “ridiculous.”
‘The plane is totally out of control. It’s going to be over $4 billion – it’s for Air Force One program. And I think it’s ridiculous,’ Trump said. ‘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.’
The government has contracted with Boeing to build two or more new planes, which would go into service around 2024. That means Trump wouldn’t fly on the new planes unless he pursued and won a second term. But the Air Force has pressed for a faster schedule, saying the current planes are becoming too expensive to repair and keep in good flying shape.
Trump now uses his own plane, also a 747, but as president he would travel aboard the Air Force jet, which is equipped with special safety, defensive and communications equipment. The current Air Force One planes will reach the end of their expected useful lives in 2017.
Boeing, which has built planes for U.S. presidents since 1943, has not yet begun building the two replacements for the current Air Force One planes. Boeing has not been awarded the money to build the proposed replacements. “We are currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the President of the United States,” the company said in a statement.