Ethiopian Airlines has secured a $450 million loan from Citibank to finance five new Boeing aircraft.
The loan agreement will be used to acquire three Boeing 737 MAX 8s and two Boeing 777 Freighters, boosting Ethiopian Airlines fleet to more than 150 planes.
Citi and Ethiopian Airlines have been working together for 45 years and the newly announced loan represents the bank’s largest aircraft financing in Ethiopia within the last decade.
In a statement released on December 12, 2023, Citi confirmed that the loan will be secured against the value of the five planes.
Delivery of all the aircraft will be completed in the State of Washington, where Boeing is based, in December 2023.
“We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with Citi to secure a USD $450 million loan. This financing will allow us to expand our fleet size by adding five new aircraft, three B737-8 MAXs and two 777 Freighter. We are grateful for the mutually beneficial partnership we have established with Citi and look forward to further strengthening it. Fleet expansion being one of our strategic growth pillars, we will continue expanding and modernizing our fleet size so as to grow our business and reach new markets,” Mesfin Tasew, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, said.
Ethiopian Airlines is considered one of Africa’s most successful indigenous companies and has ambitions to grow its fleet to over 270 aircraft by 2035.
“Citi has been serving Ethiopian Airlines for many decades, and we are pleased to support its growth with financing for five new aircraft. A lot of work has gone into getting this deal off the ground, and it is thanks to Citi’s strong relationships and connectivity both within the country and across our global network that we have been able to make it happen,” Akin Dawodu, Citi Sub Saharan Africa Head, said.
Ethiopian Airlines’ current fleet consists of Boeing 737s, 777s, 787s, Airbus A350-900s and Bombardier Dash 8-400 planes.