Colombia’s Avianca has taken delivery of two new ATR aircraft, the first of 15 to be delivered by February 2015.

It marks the first time ATR, a French-Italian joint-venture between Alenia Aermacchi (itself a subsidiary of Finmeccanica) and EADS (which in January 2014 was reorganised into the Airbus Group) has been able to take advantage of a 100% unconditional on-demand guarantee from the French ECA Coface.

Previously, only Airbus directly benefitted from the blanket coverage, which is also enjoyed by Boeing in the US, from US Exim. ATR had previously felt it competed with the two aviation giants on an un-level playing field, since it was only eligible for 95% insurance coverage from Coface.

The French law was changed in December 2012 to allow ATR access to similar benefits.

The two aircraft came in at US$15.9mn and US$15.7mn respectively, with HSBC lending 100% of the total cost. The bank was mandated along with BNP Paribas to finance all 15 aircraft. Rather than co-financing the individual planes though, HSBC will fund eight of the 15, with BNP Paribas funding the other seven.

Philip Lewis, HSBC’s director of structured asset finance, tells GTR that the documentation for each of the aircraft is expected to be similar, with each to come in around at between US$15mn and US$16mn, taking the total debt finance accrued to more than US$225mn.

2014 has already been very active in the aviation financing space and Lewis expects this to continue. He also expects an increase in 100% commercial financing over the coming year, with ECA-backed facilities expected to fall-off in the face of growing commercial banking strength. Lewis says HSBC is among a number of banks now willing to finance aircraft without the assistance of an ECA.

Last year’s market was dominated by the massive deals signed at the Dubai Air Show, driven by local carriers bolstering their fleets. This year has seen demand shift further east, with February’s Singapore Air Show playing host to a number of bumper transactions and a total of US$30bn in aircraft sales and leasing.

The headline deal was VietJetAir (VJA)’s agreement to pay US$9bn for 63 Airbus craft, inking a deal first thrashed-out in Paris last September. The package includes US$6.4bn of purchases (including 42 A320 Neo, 14 A320 CEO and seven A321 CEO) as well as seven leased family aircraft worth US$2.6bn.

BNP Paribas has been mandated to arrange the financing of the first three aircraft, worth US$258mn. China Construction Bank and its financial leasing division has also agreed to provide an undisclosed amount of debt to purchase Chinese-manufactured engines and equipment to be used in the craft.

“The Asian market is very active. The Chinese are still buying a lot,” says Lewis, “as are the Gulf, but Latin America is also a very active market for us.”