Boeing is reportedly delaying Air Force One planes’ delivery to 2025
Boeing is reportedly planning to delay the delivery of two units of 747 Air Force One jet to the government. Based on the reports, the planemaker is seeking a one-year extension from the original due date of 2024.
What the Boeing Air Force One delay means
This means that Boeing wants to reset the deadline for the presidential planes to 2025. However, this move will be a burden for taxpayers as the delay will only entail additional costs. CNN Business reported that the company signed a $3.9 billion deal for the specially customized Air Force planes in 2018, and at that time, the delivery date was set for 2024.
The American aerospace company said it needs more time and perhaps, more funds as well, to complete the two Air Force One units. It pointed to COVID-19, higher costs, and the firing of its subcontractor that has recently filed for bankruptcy, the reasons why it needs more time now.
In any case, Boeing’s request to extend the deadline was publicly revealed on Tuesday, June 8, by the acting assistant secretary of the Air Force, Darlene Costello. She shared the information during a House subcommittee hearing.
"Boeing has informed us that they believe it will be about 12 months beyond their original schedule," she said. "I wouldn't expect it to be more time than Boeing would say."
Costello said that while they have received the request, she noted that the Air Force has not agreed on the delay yet. She added that they are looking to set a new delivery schedule.
Why cost would increase if the delay is approved
If Boeing will deliver the new Air Force One jets late, The Wall Street Journal reported that the contract would cost more, and it is the taxpayers who will shoulder the extra funding.
It was said that Boeing may ask for more than $500 million additional funding from the government as costs have increased due to the pandemic. Its supplier is also bankrupt now, and so they could not refund anything for the discontinued work order.
Then again, the Air Force spokesperson said that Boeing has not formally requested for an additional cost yet. But the documents regarding the matter may be forwarded to the Air Force any time now.