US bank loans US$1.6 billion to Ethiopian Airlines


ADDIS ABABA, At a ceremony held at the 9th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in Washington DC on August 2, 2010, financing documents worth over US$1.6 billion were signed by Ethiopian Airlines CEO Girma Wake and Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) chairman and president Fred P. Hochberg to finance five B777-200LR and ten B787-8 aircraft and General Electric spare engines.

The magnitude of the transaction represents the first of its kind for the support of the African aviation industry by the US.

Upon signing the agreement, Girma Wake said, ”Ethiopian would like to thank the management and board of the US Ex-Im Bank for their unreserved support to Ethiopian Airlines. This agreement has significant contribution towards the development and growth of our airline.” He added, “Our sincere thanks also go to the African governments, leaders, and our customers for the unwavering support to the success of Ethiopian Airlines. The signing of this agreement reaffirms the principles and objectives for which the AGOA stands and vividly reflects the forum’s firm commitment to advance the growth of the aviation industry in Africa.”

The US Ex-Im Bank president and vhairman Fred P. Hochberg said, “It is a pleasure to continue to work with and support one of Africa’s premier air carrier, Ethiopian Airlines. In fact, looking back at our relationship and discussing our latest transaction with our transportation team and Boeing, our relationship with Ethiopian Airlines is one of the best in the world. I want to thank Ethiopian Airlines, Boeing, and our transportation team for making this possible, and I look forward to strengthening this relationship.”

The successful and mutually advantageous bondage between the US Ex-Im Bank and Ethiopian Airlines has been developed over the last 30 years, culminating in more than US$1.6 billion in Ex-Im Bank’s approval of final and preliminary commitments to support the export of the five Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and ten Boeing 787-8 aircraft and the General Electric spare engines for Ethiopian Airlines.

The 9th AGOA Forum brought together high-level officials and business leaders of Africa and the US to promote trade and economic ties between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa.