Boeing CEO Confirms Company Is Taking Steps To Lower Air Force Costs

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Boeing’s CEO confirmed that the company, which is currently building an updated Air Force One for the president, has taken steps to provide a “better airplane at a lower cost.”

The confirmation came from Boeing’s CEO Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in a brief gaggle in the lobby, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the company has made some “great progress on simplifying requirements for Air Force One,” according to pool reporter Katie Reilly of Time Magazine.

“We talked about a couple of topics. We discussed Air Force One. We discussed fighter aircraft,” Muilenburg said after emerging from the elevator in Trump Tower. He characterized his meeting with Trump as an “excellent conversation.”

The meeting follows recent comments from the president-elect regarding the cost of the Air Force One. In early December, Trump tweeted that while Boeing is building a band new 747 Air Force One, costs were out of control, with a price tag north of $4 billion.”Cancel order!” Trump said at the time.

Boeing responded by assuring the public that it was dedicated to providing the best product at the lowest cost, and followed up by meeting with the president-elect.

“We made some great progress on simplifying requirements for Air Force One, streamlining the process, streamlining certification by using commercial practices,” Muilenburg said.

“All of that is going to provide a better airplane at a lower cost, so I’m pleased with the progress there,” the CEO said. “And similarly on fighters, we were able to talk about options for the country and capabilities that will, again, provide the best capability for our war fighters most affordably.”

“I think Mr Trump is doing a great job with engaging the business,” Muilenburg said when asked if he thought Trump’s habit of tweeting directly to companies was the “right way” to negotiate on business. “We want to generate jobs in the U.S.,” he told reporters.
“I think Mr. Trump’s engagement with industry is going to help us grow manufacturing jobs in this country,” Muilenburg said. When asked when a deal would be finalized, Muilenburg said that “I think we’re making great progress,” but declined to state a date.
“I appreciate the teamwork approach on this. I think it’s the right way to do business,” the Boeing CEO said of his meetings with the president-elect.

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