Air India gets $1.23 bn Ex-Im Bank loan guarantee

Washington, Oct 10 (IANS) The US Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) has stood guarantee for a $1.23 billion loan to help Air India buy 17 Boeing aircraft and four spare engines in a 68-aircraft fleet renewal plan.

Ex-Im Bank, the official export-credit agency of the United States, signed an $862.6 million guarantee of an ABN AMRO long-term loan to back the sale of Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, and GE90 spare engines from General Electric Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Air India.

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The Bank also signed a $363.5 million guarantee of an ABN AMRO long-term loan to support the sale of Boeing 737-800 aircraft and CFM-56 spare engines from CFM International Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Air India Express.

Ex-Im reached the agreement with National Aviation Company of India (Nacil) that does business as Air India on international routes and Air India Express on domestic and regional routes. The completion of the financing documentation for the 17 aircraft and spare engines represents the first phase of Air India’s 68-aircraft fleet renewal plan.

Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright, Nacil Chairman and Managing Director V. Thulasidas and John Neblo, executive director of ABN AMRO, the Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed lender, signed the documents here Tuesday.

“Ex-Im Bank is delighted to reach this important milestone in our relationship with Air India and the Government of India,” Lambright said. “India has one of the most rapidly growing aviation markets in the world.

“The need for improving, expanding and modernising the existing airport infrastructure throughout India likewise grows with the addition of new and efficient aircraft.

“Accordingly, Ex-Im Bank stands ready to assist India in financing of US goods and services that will help meet India’s huge demand for aviation infrastructure.”

The Ex-Im Bank signing ceremony was attended by India’s ambassador to the US Ronen Sen, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Senior Vice President Dinesh Keskar and other senior Indian government officials, representatives of General Electric Aircraft Engines and CFM International and participating Indian banks.