Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest carrier, has secured a 450 million US Dollar loan from Citi to finance five new Boeing aircraft.
“We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Citi to secure a 450 million USD loan,” Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew said on Tuesday.
“This financing will allow us to expand our fleet size by adding five new aircraft, three B737-8 MAXs and two 777 Freighters.”
The loan will be secured against the value of the five planes and has been arranged by Citi’s Corporate Banking and Export Agency and Finance teams, and is guaranteed by the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM).
Ethiopian is a longstanding client of Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) business, and their support and partnership have been instrumental in reaching the deal.
“A lot of work has gone into getting this deal off the ground, and it is thanks to Citi’s strong relationships and connectivity both within the country and across our global network that we have been able to make it happen,” Akin Dawodu, Citi Sub Saharan Africa Head, said.
The five new aircraft will bolster Ethiopian Airline’s fleet to 150 in total and delivery of all the aircraft will be completed in the U.S. state of Washington in December.
“Fleet expansion being one of our strategic growth pillars, we will continue expanding and modernizing our fleet size so as to grow our business and reach new markets,” Mesfin added. Ethiopian airlines has an ambitious plan to grow its fleet to over 270 aircraft by 2035.
The new arrivals will help the carrier serve all its destinations by accelerating its expansion throughout the world, and bolster Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services’ position as Africa’s largest cargo network operator.
Ethiopian has created Africa-wide and transcontinental networks flying to 135 international passenger and cargo destinations, including 63 African cities. On top of the belly hold capacity, Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services covers 67 dedicated Freighter services deploying 17 freighter aircraft.