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Air Pacific partners international bankers

Maciu Malo
Thursday, February 28, 2013

AIR Pacific has secured two international banking partners to finance the new Fiji Airways A330 aircraft.

In a statement yesterday, the airline said at the conclusion of a highly-competitive bidding process, the company selected two major international aviation banks for European export credit financing for its three new A330-200 aircraft.

The two banks are German-based KfW IPEX-Bank and Helaba.

The selection of these banking partners is the result of a highly competitive RFP (request for proposal) process overseen by one of the world's leading financial advisory consultancies in the aviation sector, SkyWorks Capital, LLC. SkyWorks Capital issued the Air Pacific RFP in late 2012 to a number of major international aviation banks, and thereafter received seven firm proposals involving 11 separate banks, including five of the top global Export Credit banking groups.

"We are extremely pleased with the international financial community's desire to invest in Fiji's national airline, and on behalf of the nation we are proud to represent, we would like to thank everyone who participated," said Air Pacific CEO Dave Pflieger.

"The choice of KfW IPEX-Bank and Helaba as our banking partners is an incredibly successful outcome.

"Both institutions have long experience and excellent reputations in the aircraft financing business, and we are keen to build long-term relationships with them.

"This strong demonstration of confidence in Air Pacific indicates how highly international financing entities view Fiji's national carrier and Fiji itself."

Ian McBain, managing director of SkyWorks Capital, who oversaw the RFP process on behalf of Air Pacific, said: "This strong response from well-known and highly experienced global financial institutions is a solid endorsement of Fiji's national carrier, gained through the proven success of its turnaround plan, the strength of its management team, and the stability and strength of Fiji and its economy."

Mr Pflieger said the move to finalise financing of its new aircraft followed the successful completion of purchase agreements in late 2012 with Airbus and Rolls-Royce for the purchase of three new Rolls-Royce powered, A330-200 heavy gross weight aircraft designated to replace Air Pacific's Boeing 747 fleet.

He said the first aircraft would arrive next month with the second and third aircraft being delivered in May and November, 2013 respectively.

"The A330-200s are the first brand new wide-body aircraft ever purchased by the 60-year-old national airline, and they are valued in the Airbus catalogue at a price of $US600 million ($F1.069billion)," he added.

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