30/12/2009 AJA CLOSES ECA FINANCING FOR PRIVATE JETS

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Al Jaber Aviation (AJA), a leading VIP private jet operator and part of the Abu Dhabi based Al Jaber Group, the largest private sector construction and manufacturing group in the UAE and one of the largest in the Middle East, announced that it successfully closed the first under a framework of Export Credit Agency (ECA)-backed financings for its Airbus planes.
The financing is the first ever European ECA-supported deal to a corporate entity for private jets, and the transaction was developed, structured, led and financed by HSBC with the backing of the following three ECAs:
Ø    Germany’s ECA, Euler Hermes Kreditversicherungs-AG (Hermes), acting as the lead agency.
Ø    France’s ECA, Compagnie française d’Assurance pour le Commerce extérieur (COFACE); and
Ø    The United Kingdom’s ECA, the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD);
Mr. Mohamed Al Jaber, CEO of the Al Jaber Group said: Al Jaber Group was honoured to have received the ECA backing which facilitated the financing from HSBC, and was very pleased with the way in which all parties cooperated and joined together in a most professional and expert manner to complete the transaction.
The ECA support for the Airbus planes goes a long way to promote and enhance the already excellent reputation of Airbus, and Al Jaber’s ability to secure what we believe to be the first ever ECA backed financing for a private charter airline, which highlights and underpins the strength of the Al Jaber Group, its creditworthiness and the confidence placed in us by our bank and the ECA’s. It also reflects the confidence and recognition that the international community has with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi highlighting its economic and political maturity and strength.
The financing package provides for a 10 year tenure with a loan coverage of 80% of the cost of the Green Aircraft plus the outfitting costs. The Airbus A318 and A319 jet planes are considered among the best performing and highest quality aircraft in their respective categories.
Mr. Al Jaber added: We appreciate very much the support and commitment that was received from the respective ECAs, HSBC and Airbus. With the continued support from our partners, we are confident that the Al Jaber Aviation business will be a strong and success venture, and we are committed to providing the highest standard of service and luxury with an unparalleled and unforgettable travelling experience for our most discerning and respected clients and guests. Al Jaber’s growth goals are aligned to the UAE supporting the government plans to develop Abu Dhabi as a major hub for commercial and VIP aircraft services.
Mr. Philip Lewis of HSBC’s Export Finance team commented: Al Jaber Group is a long-standing client of HSBC, and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to support them in this new high-profile venture. ECA financing continues to be a core product for us, and we greatly appreciate the commitment and assistance which the three ECAs under the leadership of Hermes have furnished towards ourselves, AJA and Airbus. The transaction is significant in many ways, including that it is the first occasion on which the European ECAs have supported the financing of a private jet to a corporate body, with the airframe and outfitting being completed in different countries, and with the aircraft being registered temporarily in one jurisdiction prior to permanent registration in the United Arab Emirates. We regard this business as a landmark transaction for AJA and HSBC which again demonstrates the strength of both our franchise and the ECA product in aviation and the Middle East.