Boeing CEO Still Hopes For Air Force Tanker Deal

By Agence France-Presse Boeing's top executive said Oct. 11 the aerospace giant still hopes to win a contract for new U.S. Air Force tanker refueling planes, despite action by Congress killing a controversial lease plan. "If there is a contract for tankers, Boeing will get it," Boeing Co. CEO Harry Stonecipher told reporters in a conference call. "The US Air Force needs tankers, that's clear, and the [Boeing] 767 is an excellent tanker . . . and we will find ways to satisfy" the Pentagon's needs. The comments came after lawmakers killed a proposal by Boeing to lease, then sell dozens of its 767 tanker jets. The $23 billion program, which had been approved earlier this year, then suspended, faced criticism as a sweetheart deal for the Chicago-based aerospace company. To make matters worse, a former U.S. Air Force official who was involved in the tanker deal and later went to work for Boeing admitted violating federal conflict-of-interest rules and was sentenced recently to nine months in prison. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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