Upbeat Boeing CEO says meeting with Trump ‘very productive’

Upbeat Boeing CEO says meeting with Trump 'very productive'
U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One for travel to Chicago to deliver a farewell address, from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Boeing Co Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said he had a “very productive” meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and was encouraged by progress in talks on the Air Force One replacement fleet and on fighter planes.

“We discussed Air Force One, we discussed fighter aircraft,” Muilenburg told reporters after the hour-long meeting. “We made some great progress on simplifying requirements on Air Force One, streamlining the process … all that is going to provide a better airplane at a lower cost. I’m pleased with the progress there.”

Trump called the meeting at Trump Tower in New York after he pressured the Chicago-based aerospace and defense company last month to lower prices on Air Force One and to price a contract with Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet to compete with Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter.

Trump met with Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg on Dec. 21, and posted a Twitter message the next day saying he had asked Boeing to offer its older-generation aircraft as a possible alternative to the F-35.

Trump had previously threatened to cancel Boeing’s Air Force One presidential aircraft sale, saying the price was too high, and extracted a pledge from Boeing to keep the cost of the program under $4 billion.

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