Export Development Canada (EDC) has signed a US$45mn deal with China’s AVIC International Leasing to fund the purchase of two CRJ900 NextGen aircraft from Canada’s Bombardier.

The transaction is the first aircraft financing agreement in China involving a Chinese borrower serving a Chinese regional airline, and involves offshore and onshore jurisdictions, including China’s Tianjin Port free trade zone.

“The successful co-operation with EDC marks an important milestone for AVIC Leasing in broadening overseas financing channels, representing a good beginning of the establishment of mutual trust and benefit relationship between Chinese leasing companies and foreign export credit agencies,” says Zhao Hongwei, general manager of AVIC Leasing.

The aircraft will be operated by China Express Airlines under a financial lease with AVIC Leasing, a subsidiary of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC). The airline has ordered 28 CRJ900 NextGen aircraft from Bombardier, 14 of which had been delivered as of March 31, 2015.

AVIC signed an agreement with Bombardier in 2012 to develop fleet solutions for China’s aviation infrastructure needs, and over 80 of the Montreal-based manufacturer’s planes are currently in operation in the country.

“In working with AVIC Leasing and Bombardier customers in China, EDC hopes to assist in bringing more Canadian aircraft to this important growing market, to the benefit of China and to Canada’s aerospace industry overall,” adds Lynda Bernst, strategic account executive, transportation sector, EDC.