BNP Paribas/SMTB close Thai A380 financing

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BNP Paribas and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (SMTB) have closed financing of Thai Airways' first Airbus A380, MSN 87.

The banks arranged a 12-year export credit agency (ECA)-supported loan facility by the Export Credits Guarantee Department and denominated in Japanese yen.

BNP Paribas was the sole arranger, facility agent and security trustee. SMTB acted as a lender in the transaction, which is the first ever financing of an A380 aircraft in Japanese yen.

Thai Airways will take delivery of a second A380 in November. Another A380 is scheduled for December. Both have been mandated to a consortium of banks including Natixis, Citibank and Bayerische Landesbank under an European ECA supported financing by the ECGD.

Thai Airways becomes the ninth operator of the A380 model. Its aircraft is fitted with Rolls-Royce Trent 970-84 engines, and configured in 12 first class, 60 business class and 435 economy class seating.

The first aircraft will operate on the Bangkok-Hong Kong and Bangkok-Singapore routes starting next month. Thai Airways will deploy its second A380 on its Bangkok-Frankfurt route. The carrier also plans to serve Tokyo Narita from January next year and Paris the following month. In August 2013 Thai Airways will deploy its A380 on the Bangkok-Osaka Kansai route while Sydney will be served with the A380 next September.