Airbus Inks Financing Deal with Chinese Bank

 - June 29, 2009, 5:04 AM

Airbus hopes to help loosen the grip of tight-fisted credit outlets with an MoU it signed this month with the world’s largest bank, China’s ICBC, to collaborate on aircraft financing and management activities. The deal would involve the structuring of operating and finance lease transactions, portfolio management and aircraft placement remarketing.

Under the terms of the MoU–signed by John Leahy, Airbus COO of customer affairs, and Li Xiaopeng, vice president of ICBC and chairman of Tianjin-based wholly owned subsidiary ICBC Leasing–ICBC Leasing will provide delivery financing to airlines based in China for the acquisition of aircraft ordered from Airbus. ICBC Leasing could commit to finance up to 70 Airbus A320s assembled at the Final Assembly Line China (FALC) in Tianjin over the next five years. The total value of the financing support would exceed 20 billion yuan ($2.92 billion). The financing articles, such as purchase and lease back transactions, would directly involve Chinese airlines.

ICBC Leasing said it would also consider offering the same services for aircraft delivered by Airbus from other assembly lines. Finally, ICBC Leasing said it will consider buying a certain number of aircraft directly from Airbus and leasing them directly to airlines.