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Al Jaber closes first European ECA jet deal

Abu Dhabi, December 28, 2009

Al Jaber Aviation (AJA), a leading VIP private jet operator, said it has successfully closed the first deal under a framework of European Export Credit Agency (ECA)-backed financings for its Airbus planes.

AJA is part of the Abu Dhabi-based Al Jaber Group, the largest private sector construction and manufacturing group in the UAE and one of the largest in the Middle East.

The financing is the first ever European ECA-supported deal to a corporate entity for private jets, and the transaction was developed, structured, led and financed by HSBC with the backing of three other ECAs.

These include Germany’s ECA, Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs-AG (Hermes), acting as the lead agency; France’s ECA - Compagnie française d’Assurance pour le Commerce extérieur (COFACE) and the United Kingdom’s ECA, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD).

Mohamed Al Jaber, CEO of the Al Jaber Group said, 'The Al Jaber Group is honoured to have received the ECA backing which facilitated the financing from HSBC, and is very pleased with the way in which all parties cooperated and joined together in a most professional and expert manner to complete the transaction.'

'The ECA support for the Airbus planes goes a long way to promote and enhance the already excellent reputation of Airbus, and Al Jaber’s ability to secure what we believe to be the first ever ECA backed financing for a private charter airline,' he pointed out.

'This highlights and underpins the strength of the Al Jaber Group, its creditworthiness and the confidence placed in us by our bank and the ECAs,' he added.

The transaction, Al Jaber said, also reflects the confidence and recognition that the international community has with Abu Dhabi highlighting its economic and political maturity and strength.

According to Al Jaber, the financing package provides for a 10 year tenure with a loan coverage of 80 per cent of the cost of the Green Aircraft plus the outfitting costs.

'The Airbus A318 and A319 jet planes are considered among the best performing and highest quality aircraft in their respective categories,' he added.

Philip Lewis of HSBC’s Export Finance team described Al Jaber Group as a long-standing client of HSBC.

'We are delighted to have had the opportunity to support them in this new high-profile venture. ECA financing continues to be a core product for us, and we greatly appreciate the commitment and assistance which the three ECAs under the leadership of Hermes have furnished towards ourselves, AJA and Airbus,' Lewis said.

'The transaction is significant in many ways, including that it is the first occasion on which the European ECAs have supported the financing of a private jet to a corporate body, with the airframe and outfitting being completed in different countries, and with the aircraft being registered temporarily in one jurisdiction prior to permanent registration in the UAE,' Lewis observed.

'We regard this business as a landmark transaction for AJA and HSBC which again demonstrates the strength of both our franchise and the ECA product in aviation and the Middle East,' he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Al Jaber Aviation | Europe ECA | jet financing |

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