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Ex-Im Bank Announces Credit Program for Foreign Buyers of U.S. Aircraft

May 25, 2012

At the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2012) held earlier this month in Geneva, Switzerland, the Export-Import Bank of the United States announced a program aimed at extending new lines of credit to foreign purchases of American business aircraft and helicopters.

Bank officials said the new program is specifically intended to aid American manufacturers that lack captive finance units by providing a means to secure aircraft loans to customers affected by the lack of available credit on the global market. It also aims to bolster existing financing options since the lingering global credit crisis continues to negatively affect the ability of many potential customers to obtain financing.

"Business aircraft and helicopters are a vital part of the U.S. aerospace industry, which is one of the most competitive sectors of the economy and employs thousands of Americans," said Ex-Im Chairman Fred D. Hochberg. "Ex-Im Bank understands that business-aircraft transactions require specialized knowledge and experience but has limited resources to meet the growing demand for export financing in this industry."

Ex-Im noted the new measures expand on a $500 million loan program approved in 2009 to assist an American manufacturer with financing a number of sales to foreign countries; a similar $350 million program was authorized in May to help the same company.

"By leveraging private-sector expertise to assist and support our evaluation of these credits, we will be able to expand Ex-Im Bank's support for U.S. business-aircraft exports and the manufacturing jobs that they sustain," Hochberg added.

Ex-Im said the program should result in "a more complete and comprehensive transaction package" for the buyer, seller and creditor alike.

"The more complete package will expedite the application, approval and closing process for foreign borrowers of Ex-Im-supported financing in business-aircraft transactions," the bank said in a release. "Using qualified advisors is also expected to provide enhanced credit structures, resulting in additional credit protections for Ex-Im Bank."

According to Ex-Im, the bank authorized more than $12.6 billion in financing for fiscal year 2011 to support the export of U.S.-manufactured aircraft. That figure includes approximately $90 million for 10 business aircraft and helicopters exported to Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Switzerland. Legislation to authorize the bank's operating charter into 2014 was recently passed by both houses of Congress.