Air Canada poised to pull trigger on first 787 financing

Washington DC
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Air Canada will “soon” make a decision on how to finance its first Boeing 787-8, which the airframer is expected to deliver in the next few weeks.

“We have the backstop financing,” says Calin Rovinescu, chief executive of the Montreal-based carrier, on the impending delivery. “We have not pulled the trigger, we haven’t made the final decision yet.”

Asked when Air Canada will make a decision, he says “soon”.

The US Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) approved a more than $100 million loan guarantee for one of Air Canada’s 787s during a board meeting on 6 March. The 12-year guarantee will back debt provided by TD Securities, according to the meeting minutes.

The export credit agency also approved a preliminary commitment for a second 12-year loan guarantee for Air Canada.

Air Canada has 37 787s on order with seven grandfathered under the previous aircraft sector understanding (ASU), which locks in export credit financing at lower rates.

The carrier is scheduled to take delivery of six 787-8s in 2014.

Air Canada is also considering capital markets debt or sale and leasebacks for its 787s, according to previous comments by Rovinescu.

Additional reporting by Kristin Majcher