Air France taps JOLCO market for 777-300ER

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Air France closed a 12-year Japanese operating lease with a call option on Tuesday, covering a new Boeing 777-300ER.

The aircraft (MSN 40376), equipped with GE90- engines, was delivered to the airline on 15 May.

BNP Paribas served as sole lease arranger and debt co-arranger for the $150 million transaction. Debt financing for the Boeing aircraft was provided by BNP Paribas, CIC and Natixis.

Earlier this month, Air France financed its seventh A380 delivery with a French lease combined with an export credit agency (ECA) facility, guaranteed by the UK's ECGD and Euler-Hermes.

Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank (CA-CIB) acted as overall arranger, lease arranger, sole equity provider, facility agent, security trustee, co-arranger and ECA lender. DekaBank and Helaba also acted as co-arrangers and ECA lenders.

This transaction comes after CA-CIB already closed in December the first ever Airbus ECA for an Air France A380 (MSN 64), which was already combined with a French Lease structure.

These two Air France A380 financings are an exception to the ECA "home country" rule, which remains in place.