Standard Chartered Bank funds SAA first A320s

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Standard Chartered Bank has funded the first two new Airbus A320s for South Africa Airways (SAA) through a purchase and leaseback transaction with its leasing arm, Pembroke, sources indicate.

The two A320s, MSNs 5637 and 5680, were delivered on 23 July. The aircraft are part of a 20-aircraft order placed with Airbus in 2010.

SAA's A320s, powered by International Aero Engines-V2500 engines, will replace its Boeing 737-800 fleet and will increase the A319s it already has in service as part of the latest phase of the carrier's fleet modernization plan.

In May this year South Africa Airways' chief financial officer Wolf Meyer told local media that the airline had selected a lessor as the carrier opted for sale and leasebacks.

The agreement covers the first batch of 10 aircraft. Meyer said once the agreement covering the delivery of the first 10 A320s had been approved, SAA would start seeking a second leasing company for the remaining aircraft.

According to Flightglobal's Ascend online database, South Africa Airways has one more delivery scheduled in September this year. Another four deliveries are planned in 2014.

Standard Chartered Bank and SAA could not be reached at press time.