US Bank sings $ 1.23 Billion loan guarantee to help India buy planes

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Washington, Oct 10 (UNI) The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and National Aviation Company of India (NACIL) have reached final agreement on a 1.23 billion dollar financing package in support of the sale of 17 aircraft and four spare engines to NACIL by Boeing Co. to meet growing passenger demand.

NACIL does business as Air India (international routes) and Air India Express (domestic and regional routes).

The documents were signed at a ceremony at Ex-Im Bank headquarters here today by Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright, NACIL Chairman and Managing Director V. Thulasidas, and John Neblo, executive director of ABN AMRO, the Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed lender.

''Ex-Im Bank is delighted to reach this important milestone in our relationship with Air India and the Government of India,'' Mr Lambright said.

''India has one of the most rapidly growing aviation markets in the world,'' he added.

''The need for improving, expanding and modernising the existing airport infrastructure throughout India likewise grows with the addition of new and efficient aircraft. Accordingly, Ex-Im Bank stands ready to assist India in financing of US goods and services that will help meet India's huge demand for aviation infrastructure,'' Mr Lambright noted.

The completion of the financing documentation for the 17 aircraft and spare engines represents the first phase of Air India's 68 aircraft Fleet renewal plan.

Under today's agreements, Ex-Im Bank signed an 862.6 million dollar Guarantee of an ABN AMRO long-term loan to back the sale of Boeing 777-200LR aircraft, Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, and GE90 spare engines from General Electric Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Air India.

The Bank also signed a 363.5 million dollar guarantee of an ABN AMRO long-term loan to support the sale of Boeing 737-800 aircraft and CFM-56 spare engines from CFM International Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Air India Express.

The agreement signing ceremony was attended by Indian Ambassador to the United States Ronen Sen, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Senior Vice President Dinesh Keskar, and other senior Indian government officials, representatives of General Electric Aircraft Engines and CFM International, and participating Indian banks.

UNI

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