Donald Trump to Blame for Boeing’s $2 Billion Loss on Air Force One Planes

By: Georgia | Last updated: Nov 04, 2023

Boeing has encountered numerous obstacles with the new Air Force One. This high-profile project has faced both delays and financial setbacks. 

The cumulative challenges facing the new Air Force One, including substantial financial losses, have drawn widespread attention and discussion, placing Boeing’s efforts in the spotlight.

Boeing's Financial Setbacks on the Air Force One

The recent quarter brought forward unsettling news for Boeing as it reported a substantial loss of $482 million on the new Air Force One project. 

Air Force One on Tarmac. The words 'UNITED STATES OF AMERICA' are prominently displayed on its fuselage

Source: Getty Images

These recent figures, when added to past losses, push the total setbacks to a staggering amount, exceeding $2 billion, emphasizing the project’s financial complexity.

Extended Timelines for Air Force One Delivery

The anticipated delivery of the new aircraft has faced roadblocks. Boeing announced an additional delay, extending the delivery timeline by two more years. 

A close-up view of an aircraft assembly line. Multiple partially constructed airplanes with green protective coatings are surrounded by metal scaffolding

Source: Getty Images

This postponement reshapes the initial project schedule and indicates the potential challenges ahead for the aerospace company.

Factors Contributing to Boeing's Challenges

Boeing’s setbacks aren’t without reason. The company has grappled with higher-than-expected manufacturing costs, engineering changes, labor discrepancies, and prolonged negotiations with suppliers. 

A large white sign with the blue Boeing logo and text prominently displayed

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Each of these elements has contributed to the overall difficulties, highlighting the intricate nature of such a vast project.

The Purpose of the New Aircraft

Boeing’s primary aim has been to provide a modern replacement for the existing 747-200B jumbo jets. 

Air Force One in the process of descending against a hazy gray sky

Source: Getty Images

The newly designed VC-25Bs offer increased space and superior fuel efficiency, reflecting the US Air Force’s intention to modernize the presidential transport mechanism in alignment with contemporary aviation standards.

A Glimpse into the Air Force One Project's Progress

The journey since 2018 for the Air Force One project has been layered with challenges. These encompass more than $2 billion in financial losses. 

A spacious industrial warehouse with high ceilings, illuminated by overhead lights. In the foreground, an orange robotic arm with wiring and tubing stands next to blue machinery

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Coupled with the announced delivery delay, the targeted completion date has now been realigned to 2026, outlining the extent of the project’s recalibrations.


Donald Trump's Involvement in Contract Negotiations

During his presidential term, Donald Trump played a hands-on role in the Boeing discussions.

Donald Trump stands against a backdrop of multiple American flags

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The contractual agreement that emerged during his administration made it clear: Boeing would shoulder responsibility for any cost overruns. This contract has had implications for the project’s financial trajectory.


Historical Costs of Air Force One Replacements

Looking back, the replacement costs for Air Force One during George H.W. Bush’s era stood at $660 million. Today’s inflation-adjusted figure translates to roughly $1.45 billion. 

Two workers are carefully positioning and applying a large circular emblem displaying the Presidential Seal onto a blue surface

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This stark contrast with the current project’s expenditures offers insight into the escalating complexities and demands of modern aviation projects.


Boeing's CEO on the Air Force One Contract

Boeing’s CEO, Dave Calhoun, candidly addressed the challenges surrounding the Air Force One contract.

Close-up image of Dave Calhoun with a portion of an orange curtain in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He emphasized the distinctiveness of the project, pointing out the inherent risks that came with it. Calhoun’s acknowledgment paints a transparent picture of the intricacies Boeing faced throughout.


Boeing's Prospects in Defense and Security

While the Air Force One project poses challenges, Dave Calhoun remains optimistic about Boeing’s Defense, Space, and Security division. 

View of the Boeing building facade with large "BOEING" signage at the top

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His statements suggest a resilient outlook for the company, spotlighting growth and opportunities that lie ahead despite the project’s setbacks.


Boeing's Financial Standing

Challenges with the Air Force One project aside, there’s a silver lining for Boeing. The company’s revenue witnessed a 13% surge, reaching $18.1 billion. 

Nighttime scene of the Air Force One aircraft with "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" written on its side, parked on a tarmac

Source: Getty Images

Additionally, the reported net loss reduced substantially from $3.3 billion to a more modest $1.6 billion, indicating potential areas of recovery and future growth.


Boeing's Upcoming Orders and Deliveries

Boeing’s future commitments remain vast. 

Inside view of an industrial airplane assembly area with multiple green aircraft structures in various stages of assembly

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With an order backlog valued at $469 billion and plans to deliver more than 5,100 commercial airplanes, the company gears up for a demanding and eventful future, showcasing its continued significance in the aerospace sector.