AI to raise Rs 3,100 cr to buy 4 787 Dreamliners



Flag carrier Air India is looking for interim financing worth around Rs 3,100 crore to buy four 787 Dreamliner aircraft from aerospace major Boeing, and has invited offers from banks and financial institutions to arrange bridge-financing of up to $470 million for 15 months.

The bridge finance would be up to “$470 million (approximately $117.500 million per aircraft) for partly financing acquisition of four B787-8 aircraft,” the ‘Invitation of Offer’ issued by Air India said.

The airline plans to induct these four planes between July and October this year. These planes are part of the 27 aircraft ordered from Boeing in 2006. Of this, Air India has so far bought 23 Dreamliners.

According to the Invitation of Offer document, the bridge loan facility will be repaid on conclusion of a Sale and Lease Back (SLB)/outright purchase arrangement, which is already under consideration.

Under the SLB arrangement, the seller of an asset leases it back from the purchaser for a long term.

“Air India would prefer to have a bullet repayment for this facility or a suitable moratorium period for payment of principal amount under this facility. The bidder with the lower all in costs would be selected,” it said.

Aircraft as security

The airline has offered aircraft as security for availing the short-term loan. There would be no government guarantee for the loan, Air India has said in the document.

Air India has sold 21 planes of the 23 Boeing 787 aircraft, and took them back under the SLB arrangement.

The SLB of two planes, which were delivered to the airline between November last year, and January this year, is under process. In February, Air India had issued an Invitation of Offer for SLB of these two aircraft.

As part of its fleet expansion plan, Air India had in 2006 placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft — 27 Dreamliners, 15 777-300ERs, eight 777-200LRs and 18 737-800s.


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