US Exim Bank is assisting in financing the first sale of a Boeing 737-700 aircraft and attached CFM-56 engines to Air Senegal International. The financing agreement was signed in Washington, DC, on July 5, and the aircraft arrived in Senegal on July 11.

The transaction is the largest Exim financing ever done in Senegal.

“Exim Bank is delighted to assist Senegal in developing a modern, safe and efficient air transportation system,” says Exim Bank board member Linda Conlin. “The transaction that we are commemorating today demonstrates Exim Bank’s and the US government’s commitment to supporting commercial ties between the United States and the nations of sub-Saharan Africa.”

The Boeing 737-700 aircraft will be used by Air Senegal International to expand its routes to West Africa and Europe. Air Senegal International is owned by the government of Senegal and Royal Air Maroc, the national flag carrier of Morocco.

In this transaction, Exim is guaranteeing a loan from Calyon Corporate and Investment Bank of Paris, France. The transaction is structured as an asset-based financing in which Exim retains a security interest in the aircraft. Asset-based financing is the principal structure through which Ex-Im supports sales and leases of US large commercial aircraft in developing markets.

Exim Bank is actively working to promote the Cape Town treaty, an international agreement that will facilitate the asset-based financing of large, mobile equipment across international borders.

To encourage countries to sign and ratify the Cape Town treaty, Exim has extended its offer to reduce its exposure fee by one third on aircraft financings for airlines in countries that sign, ratify and implement the treaty. Exim Bank’s reduced exposure fee offer has been extended through September 30, 2006.

Since 1997, Exim has provided US$1.6bn in financing to support exports of 34 US commercial aircraft to six different airlines in sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air Namibia, Overland Airways in Nigeria, South African Airways, and Air Senegal International.