Angola’s flag carrier, TAAG Angola Airlines (Linhas Aereas de Angola) is purchasing two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with GE90 engines, assisted by an approximately US$256 million long-term loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).
The aircraft will be used to expand TAAG”s intercontinental service provided through its all-Boeing fleet, Ex-Im Bank has announced. The two aircraft are worth US$375 million, according to Agencia AngolaPress, and will be paid for in instalments.
A ceremonial signing took place on Friday at Ex-Im Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. Participants were Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P Hochberg, TAAG Angola Airlines Chairman Dr Pimentel Araujo and Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO) Senior Vice President Richard Youtz (PEFCO is the guaranteed lender).
“Ex-Im Bank is pleased to add this transaction to our support for Boeing sales to TAAG Angola Airlines. Our loan guarantees have helped the airline to access affordable financing and build its fleet in order to provide expanded air service for Angola. The US aerospace exports financed by this transaction also will support jobs at Boeing and its hundreds of suppliers across the United States,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P Hochberg.
“This transaction also adds to Ex-Im Bank”s significantly increased support for US exports to sub-Saharan Africa in fiscal year 2011, which has more than doubled over the previous record set last year,” Hochberg added. For fiscal year 2010 this amounted to US$812 million but now stands at approximately US$1.75 billion.
“Ex-Im Bank”s financing support of our acquisition of 777-300ER aircraft is critical to TAAG’s success in achieving a strongly competitive position in the Africa-to-Europe marketplace,” said Dr Pimentel Araujo, chairman of TAAG Angola Airlines.
The transaction is structured as an asset-backed finance lease in which Ex-Im Bank retains a first-priority security interest in the financed aircraft. Ex-Im Bank’s guarantee is supported by a sovereign guarantee from the Angolan government.
Ex-Im Bank previously provided approximately US$338.5 million in loan guarantees in 2006 to assist TAAG Angola Airlines in its purchase of four B737-700 and three B777-200ER aircraft.
TAAG Angola Airlines was founded in 1938 and is based in Luanda, Angola’s capital. The state-owned airline has operated flights both domestically and internationally and primarily serves the major cities of Angola and cities in Europe and South America.