Ethiopian Airlines on Wednesday received its first U.S. Export-Import Bank-supported Boeing 787 Dreamliner at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the main terminal of Washington Dulles International Airport.
Earlier in May, the bank approved a loan guarantee of more than $1 billion to Ethiopian Airlines for the export of a new fleet of 787 Dreamliners. The transaction, which was co-financed by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), also supported the export of General Electric spare engines.
The 787 aircraft is the first of its kind to be delivered to any airline outside of Japan, and it is the first one to be financed by Ex-Im Bank.
Ex-Im Bank has worked with Ethiopian Airlines since 2002 to support its ongoing fleet renewal and expansion program.
"Ex-Im Bank's reliable and consistent support for Ethiopian Airlines' acquisition of state-of-the-art Boeing aircraft, including our first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, has been an important factor in the successful implementation of our growth strategy," said Kassim Geresu, chief financial officer of Ethiopian Airlines, in a statement.
Ex-Im Bank authorized a record $1.4 billion to support U.S. export sales to buyers in Sub-Saharan Africa in fiscal year 2011, and the bank has already topped last year's figures with $1.5 billion in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2012.