JP Morgan closes financing on first Ethiopian’s 787

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Ethiopian Airlines closed financing on its first Boeing 787-8 delivery with a US Export Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) loan guaranteed by JP Morgan.

The aircraft, MSN 34745, is the first of four 787s to join the carrier this year. It is handed over today in Seattle and will arrive in Addis Ababa on Friday 17 August.

Another delivery is due in October while the remaining two aircraft scheduled in December, according to Flightglobal's Ascend online database.

Ethiopian has a total of 10 aircraft of the type scheduled through 2016 and the whole fleet will be financed under the Ex-Im Bank loan guaranteed by JP Morgan.

As part of the investment plan for the 2010-18 period, Ethiopian Airlines' 777s and 787s will replace the carrier's ageing aircraft and expand capacity on long-haul routes to and from Africa.

In August 2010, Ethiopian signed an Ex-Im Bank agreement worth over $1.6 billion to support the financing of five 777-200LR and 10 787-8s as well as General Electric spare engines. Citibank arranged, as mandated lead bank, a 12-year US Eximbank-supported financing totalling $668 million, covering the five 777-200LRs, with three African banks, PTA Bank, the African Development Bank and the Africa Finance Corporation.

The financing comprised $568 million senior debt, $85 million junior loans and a $15 million equity investment. The African Development Bank approved a $40 million second lien loan tranche of the fleet financing plan while Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) provided $24 million to partially finance the five aircraft.