VEB-Leasing has closed an estimated US$310.8mn 10-year ECA-backed financial leasing agreement with Russian airline company Aeroflot.

RBS and Citi acted as the joint lenders on the deal, with RBS financing the delivery of the first two aircraft and Citi the third. Citi also acted as sole mandated lead arranger, advisor and facility agent on the transaction.

The proceeds will be used to finance three A321-200 aircraft and expand Aeroflot’s domestic and international routes. The first two aircraft were delivered between February-March, and the third delivery is expected in August 2012.

VEB-Leasing – part of Vnesheconombank − provided a 15% down payment on the financing.

Germany’s export credit agency Euler Hermes, France’s Coface and the UK’s ECGD insured the deal, making this VEB-Leasing’s first ever ECA-backed financing.

This ECA support allowed the company to close the deal on favourable conditions and offer competitive financing terms to Aeroflot, Citi confirms.

Vyacheslav Solovyev, chief executive officer of VEB-Leasing, adds: “The strong support of European ECAs for this transaction illustrates investors’ confidence in the Russian economy. This deal is an important milestone for us and we look forward to expanding our collaboration with ECAs, as well as leading international financial institutions such as Citi and RBS to further strengthen our aircraft leasing platform.”