Millennium Post

AI extends bridge-loan bids for Boeing purchase to Nov 22

Mumbai: State-run Air India has extended the deadline for lenders to submit bids for a Rs 5,800-crore bridge-loan facility to refinance seven wide-body Boeing planes, to November 22. The financial bids were to scheduled to be closed on November 14. The carrier is seeking to refinance six Boeing 787s and one B777.

The selloff-bound airline had on October 30 floated bids from banks/ financial institutions to refinance its existing bridge-loan facility worth $819 million or worth over Rs 5,800 crore by November 14.

"Though we received two bids, we have extended the deadline for bids to November 22 for greater participation," said a senior Air India official without naming the banks/financial institutions.

Air India has 27 Dreamliners (B-787s) and 15 B777s in the fleet. Of them, 21 B787s are on sale-and-lease-back and the rest six are on short-term bridge loans. Among the 15 B777s, one is on short-term bridge loan.

"The long-term financing for the six B787s and one B777 has not yet been tied up. Air India invites offers from banks/financial institutions towards refinancing of the existing bridge loan facility of $819 million," stated the tender document. Generally, a bridge loan refers to borrowing made till a long-term funding facility is available.

The loan tenure would be "one year or till the long term take out financing is in place, whichever is earlier," the tender note added.

Of the total $819 million bridge loan, $135 million will be for B777s and the rest for the B787s, as per the document.

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