“Used” might be more economical than “new” when it comes to buying cars, but what about when it comes to presidential aircraft?

With the Trump administration looking to save some cash on the purchase of a new Air Force One, the U.S. Air Force and Boeing struck a deal late Friday on a pair of Boeing 787-8s that were originally built for a now-bankrupt Russian airline.

Transaero was Russia’s second-largest airline until it went bankrupt in 2015. Competitor Aeroflot absorbed much of the defunct airline’s equipment but declined to pick up the $1.5 billion sticker price for the planes. Boeing has been paying to park them in the aircraft boneyard in the Mojave Desert.

“The planes have always been owned by Boeing and in Boeing’s possession,” said Caroline Hutcheson, spokesperson for the Seattle-based aircraft giant, in an exclusive interview with Rare.

The pair of planes is not even “used,” exactly, aviation and U.S. Air Force acquisition expert Loren Thompson told Rare. “They’ve been flown exactly twice: once to make sure everything was working right and once to take them to the boneyard,” Thompson said. They’ve been stored in a “like-new” state ever since, he added. And they’re certainly an upgrade from the 747-200s that have been transporting U.S. presidents since the 1990s.



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