Etihad Airways signs first Export Credit Guaranteed transactions for fleet financing
Etihad Airways signed its first Export Credit Guaranteed transactions, as part of a USD1 billion fleet financing programme for 2009 and 2010 (WAM, 30-Sep-09). The carrier was recently awarded Export Credit Agency (ECA) rating, backed by OECD countries, with guarantees from the governments of Germany, France, the UK and USA. The first tranche of the USD1 billion programme will finance the delivery of eight aircraft by the end of 2010 and the purchase of two A340-600 aircraft. HSBC Bank is the lead arranger facility agent, security trustee and hedge provider, and is earmarked to provide up to USD122 million to the carrier over 12 years. A second USD111 million agreement has been signed with Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, while SkyBlue Capital LLC is responsible for the debt placement. Etihad plans to expand its current fleet of 47 aircraft to 52 by the end of 2009 and to 56 by the end of 2010.