Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun says the company probably shouldn’t have made an Air Force One deal under Trump 2022-04-28 06:49:00


Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun told investors Wednesday that the company probably shouldn’t have agreed to a fixed-price contract with former president — and “Art of the Deal” author — Donald Trump to develop a new fleet of Air Force One jets.

The company has already lost $660 million developing two 747s for the fleet after a Trump’s 2018 deal with the company That gets Boeing to bill all cost changes in the development process. The new fleet was originally supposed to enter 2024, but as CBS News reported, Boeing predicted the planes could be 17 months behind schedule. The deal was done under the supervision of a different CEO—Calhoun took over at Boeing in January 2020, but was on the board when the deal was closed.

Calhoun told investors during the first quarter of a performance review that he called the company “maybe it shouldn’t have taken” the $3.9 billion fixed-price contract, but called the situation unique and said they would continue to deliver great aircraft. The fixed-price agreement means that Boeing is unable to charge the government for any increased costs that may occur for any reason.

“Aircraft Air, I’m going to call a very unique moment, a very unique negotiation, a very unique set of risks that maybe Boeing shouldn’t have taken, but we got where we are, and we’re going to go deliver big planes. And we’ll recognize the costs associated with that,” Calhoun said.

President Joe Biden, left, departs Air Force One at Philadelphia International Airport early Saturday, April 23, 2022, aboard Marine One for the short trip to Wilmington, Dell, for the weekend.

Andrew Harnick/AFP

The company says the higher costs were primarily driven by higher supplier costs, higher prices for finalizing technical requirements, and scheduling delays. Supply chain issues related to the pandemic have plagued the world in the past two years.

In December 2016, Trump tweeted That program costs “out of control, more than $4 billion,” adding, “Cancel it!” After that, then-Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg met several times with Trump to discuss the Air Force One contract.

At the time of the agreement in 2018, the Trump White House said the agreement would save taxpayers up to $1.4 billion.

The first aircraft, officially called Air Force One, carried President Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, but it was President John F. Kennedy who ushered the aircraft into the age of jet aircraft.

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said she had no further details about Boeing’s delays.