The U.S. Export-Import Bank said it will back bonds issued by Ethiopian Airlines of Addis Ababa to finance the export of four of 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to Ethiopia.
Ethiopian Airlines obtained competitive interest rates on its bonds, the bank said.
Ex-Im Bank authorized the final commitment for the purchase of the B787s in May, and Boeing delivered the first aircraft to Ethiopian Airlines at Washington Dulles International Airport on Aug. 15. Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) co-financed the transaction.
The Ethiopian’s B787 is the first of its kind to be delivered to any airline outside Japan, and is the first one to be financed by Ex-Im Bank.
“As part of our cost leadership strategy and the ongoing efforts to make our airline competitive and cost efficient, it is my belief that the bond financing arrangement is also contributing to take us to a better position,” said Kassim Geresu, Ethiopian’s chief financial officer, in a statement.
Ex-Im Bank has worked with the airline since 2002 to support its ongoing fleet renewal and expansion program.
In fiscal year 2012, the bank authorized a record $1.52 billion to support U.S. export sales to buyers in Sub-Saharan Africa.