AIR INDIA TO PURCHASE SIX DREAMLINERS
The government is planning on selling stake in Air India, but the airline is going ahead with its fleet expansion plans and is seeking financing worth $740 million for the purchase of six Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The airline has invited offers from banks and financial institutions to arrange bridge financing for the amount. Earlier in March this year, Air India had sought $470 million from banks and financial institutions to purchase four Dreamliners. Of the six now on order, three aircraft have already been delivered, while the rest would be delivered by October 2017. The government has now indicated that they would issue guarantee for all the six aircraft and Air India is looking at refinancing the bridge loan for the three delivered planes and interim bridge financing for the rest for a period of 15 months. “In addition to the government guarantee, Air India will offer the aircraft as security. The facility should be a direct loan without the requirement for formation of a special purpose vehicle structure, which requires title transfer,” the tender document said. As part of fleet expansion plan, in 2006, Air India had placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft. The list included 27 Dreamliners, 15 Boeing 777-300ER, eight Boeing 777-200LR and 18 Boeing 737-800.