AIR INDIA TO BUY FOUR DREAMLINERS
National carrier Air India is looking for interim financing of around 3,100 crore to buy four 787 Dreamliner aircraft from US aerospace major Boeing and has invited offers from banks and financial institutions to arrange bridge financing of up to $470 million for 15 months. The airline plans to induct these four planes between July and October this year. These planes are part of the 27 aircraft ordered from Boeing in 2006. Of this, Air India has so far bought 23 Dreamliners. As part of its fleet expansion plan, Air India had in 2006 placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft which included 27 Dreamliners, 15 777-300ER, eight 777200LR and 18 737-800. The airline has offered aircraft as security for availing the short-term loan. There would be no government guarantee for the loan, Air India has said in the document. According to the invitation of offer document, the bridge loan facility will be repaid on conclusion of a Sale and Lease Back (SLB)/outright purchase arrangement, which is already under consideration. Under the SLB arrangement, the seller of an asset leases it back from the purchaser for a long term. Air India has sold 21 planes of the 23 Boeing 787 aircraft, and took them back under the SLB arrangement.