EX-IM Bank Press Release
Tigrai Online Dec. 02, 2012
Washington, D.C. – The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is backing bonds issued by Ethiopian Airlines of Addis Ababa to finance the export of four of ten Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to Ethiopia.
“This good news illustrates that the capital markets are yet another funding source available to facilitate U.S. exports and support American jobs,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “We are proud that Ethiopian Airlines, one of our longstanding partners, has benefitted from this new financing program, and we hope that it will be the first of many African buyers of U.S.-manufactured goods and services to do so.”
“The combination of high-quality, high-technology U.S.-manufactured Boeing aircraft, along with Ethiopian Airlines’ business model and management team and Ex-Im Bank-supported financing, is enabling Ethiopian Airlines to successfully connect Africa and its people and products to the world,” added Bob Morin, Ex-Im Bank’s vice president for transportation.
Ex-Im Bank authorized the final commitment for the purchase of the Dreamliners in May, and Boeing delivered the first aircraft to Ethiopian Airlines at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the main terminal of Washington Dulles International Airport here August 15. Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) co-financed the transaction.
The Boeing 787 aircraft delivered to Ethiopian Airlines 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.
“We are lucky enough to secure such lowest coupons at our first entry into this market. It is a result of good understanding, dedication and effort among Ethiopian Airlines and our partners, Ex-Im Bank and JPMorgan,” said Kassim Geresu, Ethiopian Airlines’ chief financial officer. “We were all closely working together over several months to close the financing deal and achieve such attractive rates. I thank all involved from ET, JPMorgan and Ex-Im Bank for such fruitful work. As part of our cost leader ship 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.”
Ex-Im Bank has worked with Ethiopian Airlines since 2002 to support its ongoing fleet renewal and expansion program. In FY 2012, Ex-Im Bank authorized a record $1.52 billion to support U.S. export sales to buyers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that creates and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years (from Fiscal Year 2008), Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to assist foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
Ex-Im Bank approved $35.8 billion in total authorizations in FY 2012 – an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6.1 billion directly supporting small-business export sales – also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $50 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 255,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.
Ethiopian Airlines, the fastest growing airline in Africa, made its maiden international flight to Cairo in 1946 and now the Airline provides dependable services to 69 international destinations spanning four continents. Ethiopian is proud to be a Star Alliance Member. The Star Alliance network is the leading global airline network offering customers convenient worldwide reach and a smoother travel experience. The Star Alliance network offers more than 21,555 daily flights to 1,356 airports in 193 countries.
Ethiopian is a multi-award winner for its commitment and contributions towards the development and growth of the African aviation industry and in recognition of its distinguished long-haul operations enhanced by the introduction of new routes and products. Recently, Ethiopian won Gold in the African Airline of the Year 2011/2012 Awards organized by the African Aviation News Portal. Ethiopian also received the 2011 AFRAA award for being consistently profitable over the years and has won the "AFRICAN CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR 2011 Award” for its excellence in air cargo. Ethiopian also won the NEPAD Transport Infrastructure Excellence Awards 2009 and "the Airline of the Year 2009 Award" from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).
With its acquisition of and firm orders for several new modern aircraft and its fast expanding network, the airline is well positioned to become the leading aviation group in Africa, per its Vision 2025 strategic roadmap.