Aeroflot, Russia’s national airline industry leader, has struck an agreement with Calyon and Natexis Transport Finance in Paris to finance the downpayment of seven Airbus A321 aircraft, to be delivered in 2006 and 2007.

This is the first downpayment financing arrangement implemented for a Russian airline.

It was arranged jointly by Calyon and Natexis Transport Finance, a Natexis Banques Populaires subsidiary. Natexis Transport Finance is also acting as transaction agent.

Calyon and Natexis Transport Finance have also been mandated co-arrangers by Aeroflot to finance the acquisition of the seven aircraft. This long-term financing programme will comprise an export credit for a maximum of 12 years (covering 85% of the aircrafts’ cost) coupled with two commercial loans, thus enabling the company to fully finance the cost of the aircraft.

The outstanding export credit will be 100%-guaranteed by Coface, ECGD and Hermes.

The transaction totals around US$400mn.