Egypt - The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has provided Egypt-based CIAF Leasing with a $44m aircraft financing facility for the acquisition of three Embraer E-190 aircraft to strengthen the company’s leasing operations.

With Afreximbank as a senior debt provider and the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) providing an export credit funding line, the transaction enhances the capacity of the African aircraft lessor. In line with the terms of the facility, the loan has been applied towards CIAF’s acquisition of the aircraft which are being leased to Egypt’s national carrier, Egyptair, and sub-leased to Air Cairo.

Commenting on the transaction, Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-Africa Trade Bank, Afreximbank, said that the Bank’s participation in the transaction was a demonstration of its commitment to supporting Africa’s aviation sector, given its critical role in supporting employment creation, trade, tourism and other economic activities.

“Afreximbank, under its Intra-African Trade strategic pillar “Deliver”, recognizes the importance of a strong and effective African aviation market in realizing the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and is committed to working with other aviation industry stakeholders to facilitate the continued investment and ongoing reforms which the sector critically needs,” said Awani.

Helen Brume, Director, Project and Asset Based Finance, Afreximbank, noted that aircraft leasing on competitive terms had remained inaccessible to many African airlines. She added that the facility provides Afreximbank with an opportunity to support the efforts of the company and to help further its growth as an African lessor.

Jose Luis Pinho Leite Gordon, Director of Product Development, Innovation and Foreign Trade, at BNDES, said, “BNDES’ strategic partnership with Afreximbank is essential to boost exports of aircraft and other Brazilian products. It stands out as a very important channel to leverage business on the African continent”.

Launched on 16 June 2009, CIAF Leasing is an aircraft lessor initially established by various Egyptian state-owned shareholder entities and Aviation Capital Group. It focuses on the operating and financial leasing of narrow-body aircraft and financial leasing of smaller ticket aviation-related equipment and assets. The company currently has six aircraft in its portfolio.

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