Santander closes first ever SOL with BNDES debt

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Grupo Santander has closed the first ever Spanish Operating Lease (SOL) financing structure with Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) providing the debt.

The Spanish bank signed a $250 million facility, covering the six new Embraer 195 aircraft for Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras. BNDES is guaranteing 85% of the financing.

BNDES provided the senior debt on the facility while Grupo Santander is the equity provider of the SOL financing structure. The operating lease to Azul has a 12-year term.

Under the facility, two aircraft (MSNs 356, 361) delivered in June, another aircraft (366) in July and another two (370, 374) last week. The remaining aircraft is scheduled for September.

Azul currently operates 10 Embraer 190s and 11 Embraer 195s. It has a backlog for 21 E-195s with one delivery scheduled next month, 14 in 2011 and six in 2012. At the July's Farnborough air show it placed an order for another five E-195s that will be delivered by the end of this year.

The carrier also signed a contract for the purchase of 20 ATR 72-600s, plus options for 20 additional aircraft with deliveries commencing in late 2011.