Air India seeks loans of $832mn for B787 Dreamliner purchase

Mumbai: Debt-ridden Air India is all set to invite bids for delivery financing of Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes to the tune of $832 million (Rs3,745 crore). The move comes even as the carrier struggles to meet day-to-day expenses of its ongoing operations and a pile of interest accumulates on existing debt.

The first of these futuristic planes is due for delivery in October and Air India is scheduled to take delivery of seven of these aircraft by March 2012.

Air India will be the second airline to take delivery of these aircraft after launch customer ANA of Japan.

Air India hopes to secure US Exim Bank guarantee for the funding, and the bank has indicated clearly that it would be only too willing to oblige the struggling carrier in this regard.

"We have approached the US Exim Bank for its approval. The loan will have a government guarantee. We hope to secure an interest rate of 50-70 basis points over Libor. This amounts to little over one per cent,'' said a senior AI executive.

AI has a total of 27 of these aircraft on order.