The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has inked a guarantee agreement to support the import of Airbus planes from France.

The ¥12bn guarantee will cover the interest and total principal of loans from Mizuho Bank, MUFG, SMBC, Bank of Kyoto and Chiba Bank to Japan Airlines (JAL) for the purchase of the planes.

JBIC has provided at least a dozen guarantees for the import of aircraft by both JAL and its competitor ANA Holdings since 2015, but a spokesperson for JBIC tells GTR that these have almost all been for the purchase of Boeing planes.

Last year alone, the Japanese export credit agency signed three guarantee agreements with a combined value of over ¥60bn for the import of Boeing planes. Meanwhile JBIC struck a guarantee deal with eight banks to support ANA’s purchase of Boeing planes from the US in January.

This didn’t halt a plunge in sales for the Chicago-based manufacturer though, with Boeing seeing its annual orders fall to its lowest number in decades in 2019.

Following the 737 Max crisis, which saw the beleaguered US firm ground the model after two fatal plane crashes, Boeing ended the year with a net tally of negative 87 orders having had more cancellations than purchases.

Meanwhile Airbus, which secured net 768 orders in 2019, claimed the crown as the biggest global plane maker.