Vietnam Airlines Corporation of
Hanoi, Vietnam has received preliminary approval from the Export-Import
Bank of the United States (“Ex-Im Bank”) for financing support in excess of
US$400 million to support the acquisition of four Boeing 787-8 aircraft and
engines, which will be operated by Vietnam Airlines.The decision was made by Ex-Im Bank’s Board of Directors and announced
in Hanoi by U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Michael W. Marine.
“I am extremely pleased to announce Ex-Im Bank’s approval of this
preliminary commitment to finance Vietnam Airlines’ acquisition of four
state- of-the-art, U.S.-manufactured Boeing aircraft,” Ambassador Marine
said. “This transaction will facilitate increased business and leisure
travel to and from Vietnam, thereby contributing to the further economic
growth of Vietnam. It’s a win for both countries.”
Vietnam Airlines, the national flag carrier of Vietnam, is a
state-owned enterprise, which was formed in 1989. Vietnam Airlines flies
both domestic and international routes.
In 2003 and 2004, Ex-Im Bank financed four Boeing 777-200ER aircraft
for Vietnam Airlines.
“Our experience with Vietnam Airlines has been very positive,” said
James H. Lambright, Ex-Im Bank president and chairman. “We are looking
forward to receiving Vietnam Airlines’ final application and hope, in the
future, to finance additional U.S.-manufactured aircraft for Vietnam
Airlines and to finance the sale of other U.S. goods and services to other
companies in Vietnam.”
Ex-Im Bank believes that the Boeing 787 aircraft is a good choice for
Vietnam Airlines and is worthy of Ex-Im Bank financing because the aircraft
has been well-received by both airlines and the aircraft financing industry
and will set a new industry standard for twin-aisle long range aircraft,
with its lightweight composite structure, fuel efficient engines, larger
windows, and enhanced passenger comfort. Since its launch in April 2004,
the Boeing 787 aircraft has accumulated 455 orders and commitments from 36
airline and leasing customers around the world, making the Boeing 787
aircraft the most successful commercial airplane launch in history. Vietnam
Airlines and Boeing finalized the order for the four Boeing 787-8 aircraft
covered by the preliminary commitment in November 2005.
Although U.S.-value added goods and services represent the majority of
the aircraft and engines in this transaction, there is expected to be a
material amount of Japanese manufactured components in the Boeing 787
aircraft and, therefore, the Japanese export credit agency, Nippon Export
and Investment Insurance (“NEXI”), has also issued its preliminary
commitment to co-finance the Japanese content on these Boeing 787 aircraft.
The preliminary commitment issued by Ex-Im Bank is made in response to
a preliminary application for financing and, although non-binding, provides
an indication that Ex-Im Bank is interested in financing the type of
transaction described in the application. Final approval must follow
receipt of a final commitment application, review by staff, and final
action by Ex-Im Bank’s Board of Directors.