Aircastle Limited (the “Company” or “Aircastle”) announced today that it has taken delivery of the first of the three freighter aircraft in the Company’s A330 order stream and placed it on long-term lease to Hong Kong Airlines. The three A330-200F freighters, which will be equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 772B engines, will be operated on services linking Hong Kong with destinations across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. These are the first freighter aircraft to deliver as part of Aircastle’s new Airbus Model A330 acquisition program. The remaining two freighter aircraft are expected to deliver in late 2010 and early 2011.
Debt financing for this aircraft purchase was arranged and provided by Citibank, N.A. and supported by a guarantee from Compagnie Francaise d’Assurance pour le Commerce Exterieur, the French export credit agency. The debt for this transaction bears interest at a rate of 2.645% per annum and will be repaid over the twelve-year term of the lease with Hong Kong Airlines.
“The air cargo business is experiencing a strong recovery, and we are excited to work with Hong Kong Airlines to introduce the most modern and efficient freighter aircraft in its class to this market,” commented Ron Wainshal, Chief Executive Officer of Aircastle. “We believe the Airbus A330 freighter is a great long-term investment, and completing this delivery and the related financing represents another important milestone for our A330 program.”