Ethiopian unveils more 787 debt participants

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Ethiopian Airlines closed financing on its first Boeing 787-8 aircraft with junior loans from a pool of financial entities as well as cash reserves.

The previously announced Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) backed loan from JP Morgan covers 85% of the financing, while the balance is provided by ING Capital; the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund; The Netherlands Development Finance Company; the ICF Debt Pool; and the airline's internal cash resources.

Ethiopian received its first Dreamliner on 14 August. The airline will take delivery of five Dreamliners before the end of the fiscal year, with the second aircraft scheduled to arrive next month.

"The financial support for our acquisition of the 10 787-8 aircraft is critical to Ethiopian Airlines as we aim to become the leading African airline," chief exectuive Tewolde Gebremariam says. "Our first 787-8 aircraft will first be deployed, on rotation basis, in our African destinations.

"Thereafter, once we receive our second Dreamliner by mid-September, it will operate on our Washington DC route."

Jeremy Shaw, head of JP Morgan's trade finance business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), comments: "JP Morgan is committed to continued expansion in the sub-Saharan Africa region, where our clients are seeking cost effective, large scale funding to facilitate their strategic growth plans."