Russian airline UTair Aviation has won a seven-year ECA-backed US$45mn loan from HSBC – making it the first Russian airline to receive international ECA support.

France’s ECA Coface will insure the loan, which will be used to purchase 19 new Eurocopter AS 350/355 helicopters.

First deputy general director and financial director of UTair Aviation, Igor Petrov says: “The fact that UTair has become the first airline in Russia to purchase helicopters with the involvement of an international export credit agency demonstrates the high level of trust from the investment community.”

Utair already operates five Eurocopter AS350 helicopters. The company expects to take delivery of another four aircraft later this year, and the remaining 10 in 2013.