Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Ethiopian to deal with export agencies to finance A350 XWBs

Ethiopian Airlines will solicit deals with foreign export agencies to finance the purchase of twelve Airbus A350-XWBs aircraft.
Ethiopian signed a contract for the purchase of the twelve Airbus A350-XWBs aircraft in November 2009 and deliveries of the aircraft are expected to commence by 2017.
Wogayehu Terefe, Ethiopian Manager of Public Relations and Publications, says Ethiopian has already made an initial payment for the airplanes. “We paid the initial amount and we are planning to involve export agencies for the financing,” Wogayehu told Capital on Thursday.
Wogayehu says the A350 financing starts in 2015 and Ethiopian expects to receive the first aircraft by 2017.
The aircraft maker Airbus says the production of its latest creation A350 XWB is on track and will be delivered to Ethiopian on schedule by 2017. “At this time, Airbus has every reason to believe that it will deliver Ethiopian Airlines’ A350XWBs on schedule from 2017,” Linden Birns, Spokesman for Airbus, Sub-Sahara Africa, told Capital.
“The A350 XWB brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies to provide a 25 percent step-change in fuel efficiency compared with the Boeing 777, and six percent better compared with the 787,” said Alan Pardoe, Airbus Head of Marketing Communications, in February in Addis Ababa when he outlined the manufacture’s forecast for Africa.
Involving foreign export agencies to finance purchase of new planes has been employed by Ethiopian in recent deals with aircraft manufactures.
In August 2010 Ethiopian and the Export-Import Bank of the United States have signed an agreement worth over 1.6 billion dollars to support the financing of five Boeing 777-200LR and ten Boeing 787-8 aircraft and General Electric spare engines.
In March 2011 the African Development Bank approved a second corporate loan of 40 million dollars to Ethiopian as an additional funding for partial financing of the purchased five Boeing 777-200LR aircraft. Earlier the flag carrier secured funding from Citibank N.A., African Finance Corporation and Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank.
Ethiopian has received all the five triple sevens while it expects the first of the ten Dreamliners by June.
Though Ethiopian has long sustained strong ties with American financers as it mainly operated Boeing made planes, the arrival of A350 XWB, which will be the first Airbus made aircraft to be acquired by Ethiopian, is expected to attract European financers.
Ethiopian and the Agence Francaise de Developement (AFD) have already signed a loan agreement of 30 Million Euros aimed at financing the expansion and upgrading of the Ethiopian Airlines training academy.
The agreement covers a 15 year term loan, part of which is concessional, according to Ethiopian.
The AFD office has moved since 2007, from Djibouti to Addis to become a regional office for Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.