The Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Exim) has rolled out hundreds of millions of dollars in support to manufacturing monolith Boeing, as it works to help the company overcome ongoing challenges in the market.

Last week, US Exim’s board signed off on a pair of guarantees worth a combined total of more than US$830mn backing the export of Boeing aircraft to Turkish Airlines in Istanbul.

US Exim will provide 85% cover to the two separate loans, which are expected to support over 4,000 jobs at Boeing’s manufacturing facilities in Washington State and South Carolina, as well as other suppliers across the country.

The first guarantee, worth US$389.8mn, will cover an asset-backed lease for Boeing B787-9 aircraft. Natixis is arranging the transaction, while JP Morgan Chase and Natixis’ parent company are serving as guaranteed lenders.

In a bid to reduce its net exposure on the transaction, a US Exim spokesperson tells GTR that it is looking to reinsure the deal by securing counter-guarantees from Japanese and Italian ECAs.

“Multiple suppliers from Japan and Italy supply components to Boeing… Nexi of Japan and Sace of Italy are willing to risk-share with Exim in order to support their respective suppliers,” they add.  

For the second and larger transaction, US Exim is providing a US$442.7mn guarantee for an asset-backed lease arranged by BNP Paribas for B737 Max 8 aircraft and B737 Max 9 aircraft.

On that deal, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Bank of America and Caixabank are serving as guaranteed lenders.

The US Exim spokesperson tells GTR that the two Turkish Airlines transactions approved last week, totaling US$832.5mn, represent the largest financing the ECA has provided for a single borrower since Biden was sworn in as president earlier this year.

The aviation sector as a whole was roiled by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, as flight numbers plummeted in the wake of stringent lockdowns put in place globally to quell the spread of the virus.

Boeing was no exception. At the end of October, the US aerospace giant announced it would cut thousands more jobs because of mounting losses. The company said at the time that by the end of 2021, it expected its workforce to have shrunk by 20% from pre-pandemic levels to 130,000.

US Exim has moved to soften the blow and help its domestic aerospace manufacturing sector through the crisis. In November last year, for instance, the ECA granted a 90% guarantee under its supply chain finance programme for a US$500mn facility, allowing Citi to finance payments due from Boeing to its US-based suppliers for 12 months.

Meanwhile, in May, amid ongoing revenue difficulties for GE Aviation, US Exim agreed to cover a US$54.9mn loan from BNP Paribas to Turkish Airlines.

Conditions remain tricky for the aviation space in 2021, with US Exim board member Spencer Bachus noting in a statement that the ECA’s support for the latest aircraft exports to Istanbul is due to a “challenging market”.