Apple Bank has made a US$500mn loan to Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT (LOT Airlines) to purchase a fleet of American airplanes.

The loan was fully guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Exim) and will finance five Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Jonathan Byron, executive vice-president of Apple Bank, confirms to GTR that the tenor of the loan is 12 years from delivery. While he can’t divulge its specific pricing, he also confirms that LOT will have a fixed and floating rate option, as well as a capital markets bond option.

The transaction is insured by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance of Japan (Nexi). Delivery of the aircraft will take place between now and March 2013.

Byron praises the involvement of US Exim. He says: “It would be very hard to do this volume without an export credit agency (ECA). Our exposure in the big ticket finance world is limited to certain slices. We do export credit; we do a certain amount of low credit risk transactions with highly credited corporates.”

US Exim estimates the deal will create 2,500 American jobs. Chairman and president Fred Hochberg says: “By levelling the playing field, the bank’s financing benefits business in both America and Poland and supports thousands of jobs in the US.”

LOT, the only airline to fly non-stop from Poland to the US, becomes the first European airline to operate the 787.