Two 747-8 Intercontinental airliners, manufactured by Boeing for the defunct Russian Transaero airline, are being considered as low-cost replacements for President Donald Trump current air transports. The US Air Force is about to close a deal on the jets that were used by the Russian airline that went out of business in 2015.
A brand-new 747-8I from Boeing goes for $386.8 million, but buying the used jets are expected to cost American taxpayers considerably less. The purchase would be the first time civilian jets would be converted for Presidential use. "We’re still working toward a deal to provide two 747-8s to the Air Force – this deal is focused on providing a great value for the Air Force and the best price for the taxpayer," Boeing said in a statement to Business Insider.
Currently, the presidential fleet consists of a pair of 27-year old Boeing 747-200-based VC-25As. Back in December, Trump tweeted that costs for replacing them were “out of control.” He tweeted: "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!"
In March, a Government Accountability Office report showed that the would have a cost of $3.21 billion over the next ten years.
When Transaero folded, it was Russia’s second-biggest airline. While the Aeroflot national airline took on many Transaero employees and equipment, it did not choose to keep the two airliners Boeing built of the four 747s that were on order. The two planes were inspected and kept in mothballs in California. Boeing said that the pair of planes have never been delivered and have always been under its control.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.