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Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States is providing a $113 million long-term guarantee to support the $132 million export by The Boeing Co., Seattle, WA, of four B737-700 aircraft plus two spare engines made by CFM International, Inc., Cincinnati, OH, to Compania Panamena de Aviacion, S.A. (COPA), Panama City. Each Boeing aircraft is also equipped with two CFM engines.

This is the largest transaction ever authorized by Ex-Im Bank for a company in Panama, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon. We are delighted to finance US exports that support economic growth in this important Central American market while sustaining US jobs at thousands of Boeing subsuppliers at home.

Ex-Im Bank has supported Panamanian customers for over 50 years. This latest transaction is more than double the previous record-setter, a $60 million financing of a gas turbine export in fiscal 1994.

COPA's acquisition of the Boeing aircraft is part of its expansion plan in regional and international markets. The airline serves 24 destinations in 18 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. In addition, Panama has significant untapped bilateral air treaties that offer COPA growth opportunities.

The Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed financing has an asset-based lease structure that includes a SOAR (stretched overall amortization repayment) loan that helped Boeing to win this order in the very competitive Latin American market. Competitive commercial financing was not available to COPA without the Ex-Im Bank guarantee.

The guaranteed lenders on the transaction -- Westdeutsche Landesbank and Citibank NA, both of New York, NY -- jointly arranged the financing.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. Worldwide in fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $17 billion in exports.