Ethiopian Airlines Secures $450M Loan from Citibank for Fleet Expansion

Ethiopian Airlines has procured a $450 million loan from Citibank to purchase five brand-new Boeing aircraft. The loan agreement will be utilized to acquire three Boeing 737 MAX 8s and two Boeing 777 Freighters, which will effectively increase Ethiopian Airlines' fleet to more than 150 planes. Citibank and Ethiopian Airlines have had a fruitful partnership for 45 years, and this most recent loan represents the bank's largest aircraft financing deal in Ethiopia over the last decade. According to a statement released by Citibank on December 12, 2023, the loan will be secured against the value of the five planes, and all aircraft will be delivered in December 2023 in the State of Washington, the home of Boeing's headquarters.


Mesfin Tasew, the CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group, expressed his gratitude to Citibank for agreeing to provide a loan of USD 450 million. He noted that the financing would allow the airline to expand its fleet by adding three B737-8 MAXs and two 777 Freighters, which are crucial to the airline's strategic growth plan. He added that Ethiopian Airlines is committed to continuously expanding and modernizing its fleet to grow its business and reach new markets. Ethiopian Airlines aims to have a fleet of more than 270 aircraft by 2035.

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Ethiopian Airlines is one of Africa's most successful and progressive indigenous companies. Akin Dawodu, Citi Sub Saharan Africa Head, stated that the bank was pleased to support the airline's growth by financing five new aircraft. He noted that a lot of work had gone into getting this deal off the ground, and it was thanks to Citi's strong relationships and global network that they were able to make it happen. 


At present, Ethiopian Airlines' fleet comprises Boeing 737s, 777s, 787s, Airbus A350-900s, and Bombardier Dash 8-400 planes. With the addition of the new aircraft, Ethiopian Airlines will be better positioned to serve its customers and expand its reach across the globe.

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