Boeing Signs Contract for Air Force One

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The deal was not the biggest one that Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) announced Thursday, but it may be the most welcome. The company said that an order for two 747s to serve as the U.S. presidential plane, known as Air Force One, has been signed and the two planes, previously shown as going to an unidentified customer, are now listed as USAF PAR Program on the company’s order book.

The Air Force agreed not to disclose the purchase price of the two planes, but the list price for one 747-8 is $386.8 million, which works out to about $774 million for two. Assuming a standard discount of around 35% for the planes, the cost to a commercial customer would be around $251 million per plane. The Air Force is certainly paying less than that.

The real cost of Air Force One is in the modifications needed to provide the president with communications equipment, along with safety security systems. Although the final cost has not been revealed, we assume it’s below the $4 billion total that then President-elect Trump complained about even before he took office. The two planes are scheduled for delivery in 2024.

Earlier this morning, Boeing announced orders and commitments for 300 new aircraft with a list price value of more than $37 billion from a Chinese buyer. A report at Bloomberg cited a source who said the at least some of the planes have been carried on Boeing’s order book as being orders from an unidentified customer. The order was signed in Beijing with both U.S. President Donald Trump and People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping in attendance.

Later in the day Boeing announced that it had finalized an order valued at $7.4 billion at list prices with CDB Aviation, one of China’s largest aircraft leasing firms. The order was announced at June’s Paris Air Show and includes 42 single-aisle 737-8s, 10 737-10s and eight 787-9 Dreamliners. Six of the 10 737-10s are conversions from the smaller 737-8.

None of this has done any good for Boeing’s share price Thursday. The stock traded down about 1.6% at $259.98 in the noon hour, in a 52-week range of $144.46 to $267.62. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, of which Boeing is the year’s top performer, is down nearly 1%.