Trump wants to cancel order for new Boeing Air Force One

NEW YORK:  US President-elect Donald Trump said on Tuesday costs for a new Air Force One — one of the most prominent symbols of the US presidency — were out of control, and urged the government to cancel a contract with Boeing Co for the jet.
Trump, who takes office on Jan 20, griped during his unconventional election campaign about the cost of President Barack Obama’s use of the presidential aircraft to campaign for his rival, Hillary Clinton.
It was not immediately clear what prompted his complaint about Boeing and the presidential plane, but his transition team said that he aimed to send a clear message he intends to save taxpayers’ money.
“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 said in a morning Twitter message.
It was not clear what his source of information was for the cost. The budgeted costs for the Air Force One replacement programme are $2.87 billion for the fiscal years 2015 through 2021, according to budget documents.
Shortly after his Tweet, Trump made a surprise appearance in Trump Tower in New York before a group of reporters to amplify his comments.
“The plane is totally out of control. I think it’s ridiculous. 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,” he said.
A spokesman for Boeing said the company had no immediate comment.
A wealthy real estate developer, Trump used his own Boeing 757 to campaign around the country, pledging to shake up Washington.
The US Air Force, which operates the presidential planes, first announced in January 2015 that Boeing’s 747-8 would be used to replace the two current planes that transport the US president.
The Air Force awarded Boeing an initial contract worth $25.8 million in January this year. This was to conduct studies on the costs of building the plane with the requirements desired by the White House, including making it possible for the plane to communicate even during a nuclear war, while also looking at lowering costs.
Trump’s transition team said that his comments about the plane reflected the president-elect’s desire to keep down costs across the board, and so save taxpayers’ money. — Reuters