Air India puts 2 Dreamliners on sale to raise USD 250 mn

New Delhi: State-owned carrier Air India has put on sale two more Dreamliners (Boeing 787-800) to raise USD 250 million (nearly Rs 1,700 crore) for the repayment of short-term loan availed earlier for purchasing these planes.

The airline would also lease back these two Boeing 787-800s under an operating lease for a period of up to 12 years with a three-year extension option, the airline said in its Invitation of Offers document.

These two aircraft were delivered to Air India between November last year and January this year.

Under a Sale and Lease Back (SLB) arrangement, the seller of an asset leases it back from the purchaser for a long-term period and continues to use it without actually owning it.

The airline has fixed a reserve purchase price at USD 125 million (Rs 836 crore) for each aircraft.

Currently, the airline has 23 Dreamliners in its fleet.

The airline has already sold and leased back the remaining 21 Dreamliners under the SLB arrangement.

As part of its fleet expansion plan, the national carrier had in 2006 placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft — 27 Dreamliners, 15 B777-300ERs, eight B777-200LRs and 18 B-737-800s.

The sale and lease back transaction will be supported by the Government of India guarantee in favour of the bank/ institution/lessor, according to the document.

The guarantee will cover the lease rental obligation during the lease term and may include certain breakage costs and re-delivery conditions, it added.