Ethiopian Airlines, the largest and most profitable airline in Africa, has secured a USD 41.4 million 7-year junior loan facility from ING Capital LLC for the acquisition of two Boeing 777 freighter aircraft.
The senior debt is supported by Ex-Im Bank and was provided by another financial institution with ING as their co-arranger. The junior lender benefits from a second priority interest in the security package which secures both the Ex-Im Bank and junior loan financing.
Ethiopian Airlines utilizes the junior loan facility to finance a portion of the net purchase price of the aircraft which is not supported by Ex-Im Bank.
ING Capital was the sole arranger and lender of the junior loan financing and will also act as the agent throughout the term of the transaction. The financing closed concurrently with the delivery of the first aircraft on October 31. The second aircraft is scheduled to arrive in Addis Ababa on November 21, 2014.
Ethiopian Airlines successfully secured the junior loan financing based on the strong relationship and thorough understanding of the airline’s financing requirements on the part of ING Capital LLC.
Nega Mekonnen, Chief Financial Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, said: "The financial support for our acquisition of the two B777 Freighter aircraft is critical to Ethiopian Airlines as we aim to sustain our position as the largest cargo operator in Africa. These aircraft will help us increase our capacity and service quality for the ever growing perishable cargo market."
While Terina Golfinos, Managing Director and Head of ING Capital’s Structured Export Finance team in New York, said, "We were delighted to have the opportunity to close this important financing for Ethiopian Airlines and contribute in some small measure to their ongoing success as the regional carrier of choice. ING has had a lending relationship with Ethiopian Airlines since 2007, and we are pleased to support them with the expansion of their cargo division, which is crucial for Ethiopia’s growing export sector."
This year alone, Ethiopian has phased-in 14 additional aircraft, including five B787 Dreamliners, one B737-800 with Sky Interior, one B777-300 two B777 freighter and four BombardierQ-400 aircraft.
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ING Capital LLC is a financial services firm offering a full array of wholesale financial lending products and advisory services to its corporate and institutional clients. ING Capital is an indirect U.S. subsidiary of ING Bank N.V., part of ING Group (NYSE: ING), a global financial institution of Dutch origin. The purpose of ING Bank is empowering people to stay a step ahead in life and in business. ING Bank’s more than 52,000 employees offer retail and commercial financial products and services to customers in over 40 countries.
Regional Head Corporate Communications
ING Financial Services LLC
Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) is the fastest growing and most profitable airline in Africa. In 2014, IATA ranked Ethiopian as the largest airline in Africa in revenue and profit. In its operations in the past close to seven decades, Ethiopian has been a pioneer of African aviation as an aircraft technology leader providing the first jet service in the continent in 1962, and availing the first African B767 in 1984, the first African B777-200LR in 2010 and the first African and second only to Japan B787 Dreamliner in 2012.
Ethiopian commands the lion share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 83 international destinations across five continents. Ethiopian fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally friendly aircraft such as the Boeing 787, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 777-200LR, Boeing 777-200LR Freighter and Bombardier Q-400 with double cabin. In fact, Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft.
Ethiopian is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading airline group in Africa with seven strategic business units: Ethiopian International Passenger Service; Ethiopian Regional Service; Ethiopian Cargo; Ethiopian MRO; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; Ethiopian In-flight Catering Service and Ethiopian Ground Service. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning, including SKYTRAX and Passenger Choice Awards in 2013 and has been registering an average growth of 25% per annum in the past seven years.