Trump says 'cancel order' on new Boeing Air Force One plane

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2016 9:20 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President-elect Donald Trump urged the government to cancel purchase of Boeing's new Air Force One plane on Monday, saying it was "ridiculous" and too expensive.

"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!" said Trump in a Twitter message.

Speaking shortly afterward to reporters in New York, Trump said, "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," added Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20.

Boeing did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Air Force first announced in January 2015 that Boeing's 747-8 would be used to replace the two current Air Force planes used to transport the U.S. president. Air Force One is one of the most visible symbols of the United States.

Details about the total value of the new contract have not been released, but the Air Force has previously said that it had earmarked $1.65 billion for two replacement jets.

The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing Co an initial contract worth $25.8 million in January.

U.S. presidents have used Boeing plane's since 1943, according to the company's website.

The 747-8 planes, 240 feet long (73 meters) long with a wing span of 224 feet (68 meters), can fly direct from Washington to Hong Kong, 1,000 miles (1,600 km) farther than the current Air Force One.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Frances Kerry)