Sat, 19 Jun 2021

CHICAGO, Illinois: The next-generation Air Force One presidential aircraft might be one year late in being delivered, and come with a higher sticker price.

Boeing, which is converting two 747 jets into flying White Houses, said the problems are due to pandemic-led disruptions and problems with a supplier, a US Air Force official said.

Boeing, which signed the $3.9-billion agreement to Tbuild the two 747-8 aircraft in July 2018, has now sent a letter to the Air Force seeking to renegotiate the price for the jets, Air Force officials told the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives, Reuters reported.

Though the aircraft were meant to be delivered by December 2024, Boeing is seeking about a year to hand the aircraft over, she said.

Democratic Representative Joe Courtney called the delay a "disappointment to all of us".

"We thought this was maybe a program where the government actually got a good deal," he said, quoted by AFP.

Meanwhile, Boeing said it is continuing "to make steady progress" and is "working closely" with the US Air Force on the project.

In April this year, Boeing had taken a $318-million pre-tax charge related to the Air Force One jets, linked partly to its feud with a supplier over work done on the interiors of the aircraft, which come equipped with military avionics, advanced communications, and self-defense systems.

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