BASIS POINT - Air China seeks at least $1 bln aircraft loan

Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:53am EST

HONG KONG Jan 30 (Reuters) - Air China Ltd sent out a request for proposals last week for aircraft financing of at least $1.0 billion, sources said.

One source said the deal size could be roughly $1.8 billion.

The borrower did not indicate any specific terms, but sources said the tenor could be 10-12 years.

Funds are for several aircraft, one source said.

Air China last tapped the loan market in February 2012 for a $540 million 12-year club deal for four Boeing B777-300ERs. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubushi UFJ and HSBC were mandated lead arrangers on that deal, which was guaranteed by Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Prior to that, Air China got a $35.431 million club loan with a tenor of 11 years and nine months from BTMU and Commerzbank Hong Kong in 2011 for one Airbus A330 and a US$252.09 million 12-year club from BTMU and HSBC in 2010.

The borrower, one of China's top three airlines, operates a fleet of more than 432 aircraft serving 282 domestic and international routes.